The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a waiver, which will ensure expeditious construction of new border wall gates located within Cameron County, Texas. The gate construction project includes the installation of automated border wall gates, associated equipment, and site improvements at current openings in the existing barrier in the U.S. Border Patrol’s (USBP) Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector.
The waiver was published in the Federal Register on September 30, 2019. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), will begin construction as early as September 30, 2019. The contract for this project was awarded to Gideon Contracting, LLC on July 31, 2019.
The geographic scope of this waiver covers the project sites located within the area of responsibility of the McAllen and Weslaco Border Patrol Station’s (BPS) in Hidalgo County, Texas and in the Harlingen BPS within Cameron County, Texas. The gates will be located on the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission levee at existing levee ramps. Once installed, the gates will serve as a persistent impediment to smuggling organizations while still allowing river access for property owners, USBP, other local/state/federal officials, and local emergency responders.
This project is funded by CBP’s Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) appropriation and is not 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).
Based on language in CBP’s FY19 appropriation, border wall construction will not take place within 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.