U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have jointly awarded a $167 million contract for the construction of eight miles of a levee wall system along the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector.
Texas-based firm SLSCO was awarded the contract on Nov. 11, and construction is expected to start in February 2019.
The project consists of:
- Five segments located south of Alamo, Donna, Weslaco, Progreso and Mercedes, Texas within Hidalgo County.
- Construction and installation of tactical infrastructure, including a reinforced concrete levee wall to the height of the existing levee, 18-foot-tall steel bollards installed on top of the concrete wall, and vegetation removal along a 150-foot enforcement zone throughout the approximately eight miles of levee wall system.
- The levee wall system will include detection technology, lighting, video surveillance and an all-weather patrol road parallel to the levee wall.
The Rio Grande Valley experiences a high level of illegal border-related activity. The Border Patrol, in fiscal year 2017, arrested 137,000 illegal aliens and seized more than 260,000 pounds of marijuana and 1,192 pounds of cocaine in the sector.
See: Border Patrol Stops $2.5M Cocaine Load in the Rio Grande Valley
“Once constructed, this levee wall system will serve as a persistent impediment to transnational criminal organizations, while still allowing river access for property owners, other federal/state/local officials, local emergency responders, and USBP,” according to a CBP and Army Corps of Engineers release. “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.”
More: Border Wall Construction Project Starts in San Diego Sector
Border Patrol Missing Migrant Program and TRICAMEX Fly Over the Rio Grande Valley