Small Wars Journal

As Crews Survey Land for a Border Wall, Troops Add Temporary Barriers in Texas, Arizona

As Crews Survey Land for a Border Wall, Troops Add Temporary Barriers in Texas, Arizona by Rose L. Thayer - Stars & Stripes

Surveyors from the Army Corps of Engineers will spend the next week assessing sites near Yuma, Ariz., and El Paso, Texas, where construction of a border wall is projected to begin as early as next month, a defense official confirmed Friday.

The teams arrived Thursday following the transfer of funds to the corps to begin work, said Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, Pentagon spokesman.

The Defense Department announced March 25 that acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan authorized $1 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning and executing 57 miles of 18-foot-high fencing. The authorization also includes constructing and improving roads and installing lighting.

At the request of the Department of Homeland Security, the work will occur within the Yuma and El Paso sectors of the border, according to a news release about Shanahan’s authorization. The El Paso sector includes the two most western counties in Texas and all of New Mexico, based on Customs and Border Patrol’s website. Yuma includes the western portion of Arizona and Blythe Station in California. Combined, the sectors include 394 miles of border.

Following the assessment, the corps of engineers will bid out the construction of the wall, Davis said. Army engineers will not build it. He said he estimates the Army will award a contract by the end of April and construction could begin shortly thereafter…

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