Trump puts out tender for new US-Mexican wall

A boy looks as U.S. workers build a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
A boy looks as U.S. workers build a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The U.S. government has put out a call for proposals to build a wall along the border with Mexico that President Donald Trump ordered as one of his first official acts after the inauguration.

The request for proposals issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency are a first step toward the multibillion-dollar wall project. The agency is seeking bids from designers and builders who are prepared to erect prototypes of their wall plans of a reduced size and total area of about 10 square meters each, which would be used to make a final decision later this year about how the wall would be built and by whom.

Specifications for the finished product, as described in the official documents, make clear that the wall will be a massive construction project. The government is asking for a 9-meter-high concrete barrier, extending 2 meters underground, built to be “physically imposing” and capable of resisting almost any attack, “by sledgehammer, car jack, pickaxe, chisel, battery-operated impact tools, battery-operated cutting tools [or] oxy/acetylene torch.” Trump, who as a candidate made the Mexican border wall one of his main campaign themes, said he wanted “a big, beautiful wall,” and the government’s request for bids reflected that wish, declaring the completed project should be “aesthetically pleasing” — at least on the north or U.S.-facing side of the wall.

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