The Trump administration approved a contract to replace 32 miles of border wall in Arizona’s Yuma and Tucson sectors.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) together with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded the contract to Barnard Construction Company on November 13.
The total value of the contract is approximately $324 million. It includes $172 million for the base contract to build approximately 14 miles of replacement border wall in the Yuma sector. Barnard Construction is set to start the project in April 2019.
According to CBP, its projects in Arizona include the construction and installation of better tactical infrastructures—approximately five miles in Lukeville and 27 miles in Yuma.
Border wall will help stop drug and human smuggling
“The primary pedestrian replacement wall in Arizona will improve each sector’s ability to impede and deny illegal border crossings and the drug and human smuggling activities of transnational criminal organizations,” said CBP.
On Thursday, the CBP and USACE awarded a contract to build around eight miles of border wall in Rio Grande Valley (RGV), Texas. The total amount of the project is approximately $167 million. The construction of the project will begin in February 2019.
According to CBP, the rate of illegal border crossing remains high in the RGV sector. Last year, Border Patrol agents arrested more than 137,000 immigrants illegally crossing in the RGV sector. They also seized approximately 260,000 pounds of marijuana and around 1,192 pounds of cocaine in the area.
The border wall in the RGV sector will serve as “persistent impediment to transnational criminal organizations” once the contractor finishes the project.
The funding for the projects will come from CBP’s fiscal year 2018 budget. The CBP continues to implement President Donald Trump’s 2017 executive order to improve border security and immigration enforcement. The agency is also taking steps to speed up the design, plan and construction of an effective border wall.