The Rio Grande border area in Texas on Sept. 23, 2013. (Donna Burton/CBP)

Contract Awarded for Eight Miles of Border Levee Wall System at Rio Grande Valley

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

Multimedia journalist James Cullum is Managing Editor of Homeland Security Today's Federal Pages. He has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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