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Nearly $1B in contracts awarded for border fence sections

A new type of bollard wall is being used to replace existing wire mesh and vehicle barriers near a port of entry in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. The Army Corps of Engineers announced on Wednesday they have awarded nearly $1 billion worth of contracts for the removal and replacement of vehicle fencing along two sections of the U.S.-Mexico border. Forty-six miles of bollard-style barrier will be installed near Columbus, New Mexico, and 11 miles in a Border Patrol sector centered in and around Yuma, Arizona. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP, File)

A new type of bollard wall is being used to replace existing wire mesh and vehicle barriers near a port of entry in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. The Army Corps of Engineers announced on Wednesday they have awarded nearly $1 billion worth of contracts for the removal and replacement of vehicle fencing along two sections of the U.S.-Mexico border. Forty-six miles of bollard-style barrier will be installed near Columbus, New Mexico, and 11 miles in a Border Patrol sector centered in and around Yuma, Arizona. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded contracts totaling nearly $1 billion to replace short barriers with tall fences along two sections of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Corps of Engineers said in a statement on Wednesday that 46 miles of fencing will be installed near Columbus, New Mexico, and 11 miles near Yuma, Arizona.

The fencing in New Mexico will be installed by SLSCo. of Galveston, Texas, which got a $789 million contract. The other work will be done by Barnard Construction Co. Inc., of Bozeman, Montana, which received a $187 million contract.

In New Mexico, the contractors will remove waist-length fencing, known as vehicle barriers, and replace it with tall fencing that will go up to 30-feet high in New Mexico. The new fencing is similar to what’s already in place along much of the border.

The Corps said the fencing will help “impede and deny illegal border crossings and smuggling of drugs and humans.”

The Department of Homeland Security has not responded to an inquiry for comment.

Some say the work could harm wildlife. Laiken Jordahl, borderlands campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity, said the additional fencing will sever a known corridor used by various species.

“It’s hard to explain just how much the wall impacts the entire ecosystem,” Jordahl said.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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