NM company awarded new contract to build 15 miles of border wall in South Texas

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U.S. Border Patrol Supervisory Agent Christian Alvarez on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, walks beside a 1-mile section of new border wall that has been built in western Starr County. The U-shaped section is the first to go up in this county and is being built in a federal wildlife refuge after the Trump administration last year issued a waiver to allow construction. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A New Mexico-based company has been awarded a new contract to build 15 miles of border wall where barriers currently don’t exist in South Texas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday.

Southwest Valley Constructors Co. of Albuquerque has been chosen to build the border wall system, which includes a 30-foot-tall steel bollard wall, all-weather roads, lighting, enforcement cameras and other related technology.

LA GRULLA, TX – MARCH 15: The sun sets as the Rio Grande winds along the U.S.-Mexico border on March 15, 2017 near La Grulla, Texas. U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that illegal crossings along the southwest border with Mexico dropped 40 percent during the month of February. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

CBP, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, awarded Southwest Valley the contract worth up to $179.6 million, which is funded by CBP’s Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 appropriations.

Pending availability of real estate, construction is expected to begin this year in Star County. The project consists of four non-contiguous border-wall segments, which will connect to other newly built segments within Roma, Rio Grande City, Escobares, La Grulla and the town of Salineño. CBP said it completed additional consultation with local elected officials from these municipalities.

The Border wall system is also located within the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector, which is the busiest in the nation. The RGV Sector accounts for 25% of all illegal alien apprehensions and ranks first in cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana seized along the southwest border.

“These projects will improve the RGV Sector’s ability to impede and deny illegal border crossings and the drug and human smuggling activities of transnational criminal organizations,” CBP said in the news release.

In June, Southwest Valley Constructors was awarded a contract for $33 million to build four miles of border wall south of La Grulla and nearby Rio Grande City. The projects are part of the 52 miles of border wall that will be built in Starr County, which is the entire length the county.

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