WASHINGTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), has awarded a contract to construct approximately three miles of new bollard wall system on federally owned land within the Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV) Rio Grande City area of responsibility in Starr County, Texas.
The contract for this project was awarded on May 28, 2019 to Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. for the amount of $42,860,000 and construction is anticipated to begin in August 2019. This project includes the construction of 18-30 foot tall steel bollards, in addition to road construction, detection technology and lighting installation.
This project is funded by CBP’s Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Appropriation. It is not a project undertaken pursuant to the National Emergency Declaration, 10 U.S.C § 284, 10 U.S.C. § 2808, nor does it draw from any other source of funding, including appropriations available to the Department of Defense (DoD) or Department of Treasury.
Based on language in the FY19 CBP appropriation, border wall construction will not take place at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, La Lomita Historical Park, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, within or east of the Vista del Mar Ranch tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, or the National Butterfly Center.
RGV is the busiest sector in the nation and accounts for more than 40% of the illegal alien apprehensions, more than 43% of the seized marijuana in the southwest border for the fiscal year to date, and is second in seized cocaine. RGV accounts for a large percentage of the southwest border illegal alien apprehensions and narcotic seizures and the majority of its activity is occurring in areas where RGV has limited infrastructure, access and mobility, and technology.
CBP continues to implement President Trump’s Executive Order 13767 – also known as Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements – and continues to take steps to expeditiously plan, design, and construct a physical wall using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve operational control of the southern border.
This project will improve the RGV sector’s ability to impede and deny illegal border crossings and the drug and human smuggling activities of transnational criminal organizations.