Past Features

October 13, 2017

Wall prototypes going up

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WREG -- October 12, 2017
Proposed border wall prototypes erected in San Diego
    Several of the prototype designs for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall have been erected.
    Construction crews broke ground two weeks ago on eight separate prototypes and on Thursday News 8 got a chance to see five of them up close.
    “It's very interesting to see all the different types of ideas and wall prototypes,” said U.S. Border Patrol Agent Tekae Michael.
    Border Patrol agents took News 8's Steve Price to a fenced-off area in Otay Mesa where crews are halfway into the 30 days they have to build their prototype for what will eventually be a 2,000-mile long wall along our southern border promised by President Trump.
    One wall has razor wire across the top; another bollard-style fencing that's friendlier to wildlife; all are designed to be tough to climb or penetrate.
    “In a wall, what we would want is anything that's going to protect us and protect the United States,” said Agent Michael.
    Three more wall prototypes are coming and once completed they'll be put to the test.

Glenn Spencer -- October 13, 2017
Prototype border walls -- a strange selection process
    Reports from show five prototype "Trump Walls" under construction. According to the US Border Patrol, three more wall prototypes are coming.
    One of the prototypes shown by WREG is partially see-through --- the bottom half of which appears to be similar to the fence built near my ranch eight years ago.
    The see-through portion is also similar to fencing recently constructed near Naco, Arizona.
    The contractor who built the wall near my ranch, Kiewit Construction Company, did not bid on the Trump wall out of fear of retaliation by officials in the State of California.
    Another company, Granite Construction --- the one that built the wall near Naco --- stayed away as well --- for the same reason.
    President Trump has said the new wall will be see-through, which seems to leave four of the five walls seen so far out of the final selection.
    Of the three prototypes yet to be seen, one is proposed by an Israeli company, Elta North America, and another was proposed by a KWR Construction, a small Hispanic-owned company based in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
    According to the Washington Post:
"ELTA is a defense manufacturer owned by the state-run Israel Aerospace Industries. The parent company is under investigation for bid rigging and bribery, according to Haaretz. ELTA, which makes radars, opened new U.S. headquarters in Maryland in May."
    In a statement reported by the Arizona Republic, KWR Construction said:
"Many of our workers having long-standing relations or roots in MX (sic), so all of us respect our Mexican neighbors and have a good sense of where they're coming from. We perform our work with integrity so as to demonstrate that we respect all involved.”
    So of the three remaining prototype walls, one will be built by an Israeli-owned company whose parent is under investigation for bribery and bid rigging, and the other has “long-standing relationships or roots in MX (sic).”
    Two companies with no apparent experience in building border barriers, but with strong ties to foreign countries, were selected for Trump's wall, while two of the our most experienced contractors were frightened away by California.
    This was a strange selection process.