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Prototypes of Trump’s ‘Great’ wall to be built by end of summer

DHS official Ronald Vitiello said Tuesday that authorities hope to have up to eight prototype border wall sections erected by late summer, according to NBC News.

The bidding process is still going on and Vitiello said between four and eight designs will be chosen for the final round. And then the “beauty pageant,” as it has been dubbed by the Guardian will begin in earnest. The sections will be built fairly close together along a stretch of border, with the work spaced out so that the different contractors don’t get in each other’s way.

“There’ll probably be more than one or two of them there at the same time but we’ll have to sequence it so they’re not in each other’s way. I don’t have that plan but I know our team is working through it,” Vitiello said.

The Democrats estimate that President Trump's proposed wall between Mexico and the US could cos...

The Democrats estimate that President Trump's proposed wall between Mexico and the US could cost a total of anywhere between $64 billion and $70 billion
HERIKA MARTINEZ, AFP/File


A final choice will be made by the DHS “after a thorough review and evaluation” of the prototypes, but again, there is no definite date set on when that part of the pageant will take place. One thing is a sure bet, though – people trying to make their way into the U.S. will not have a vote on which type of wall they will want to cross over, under or through.

From concrete to solar – Wall prototypes
The winning wall, or as Trump called it during his campaign, a “great, great wall” will then snake along the U.S.-Mexico border for hundreds of miles, with the exception of about 150 miles going across lakes or mountains that already act as a barrier.

Vitiello was asked about the possibility of a solar wall being included in the prototypes, as Trump suggested at a recent rally. In typical Washington speakese, he said: “It hasn’t impacted the planning in of itself because our role is to identify what the requirement is for where the barrier is. We’re leaning on industry to innovate and use other materials to show us what they think is possible, doable and innovative for this purpose.”

Will there be a prototype of a wall with solar panels? There could be. The DHS’s initial proposal asked for 30ft-tall “concrete wall structures”, but when the request for proposals was published on March 17, it was expanded to allow for “other” proposals. All prototypes must meet basic requirements that include having a “physically imposing in height” with “anti-climb” features and “aesthetically pleasing” color on the north side. Non-concrete walls are also required to have a “see-through component” to increase “situational awareness.”

President Donald Trump's plan for a wall along the entire 2 000-mile US-Mexico border includes ...

President Donald Trump's plan for a wall along the entire 2,000-mile US-Mexico border includes strategically erected wall sections interspersed with stretches of technology-dependent surveillance
PEDRO PARDO, AFP/File


Most people can already figure out that making a solar wall will increase the cost to an exorbitant price. The design and added infrastructure needed to collect and store power and then move it through transmission lines is probably not something Trump even considered.

But regardless of what type of wall is chosen, it is going to cost the American public a bundle of the green stuff and that is a fact. A DHS internal report obtained by Reuters estimates the wall will cost about $21 billion and take at least three years to build.

But the internal report also said that the DHS only has about $20 million in funding for the wall. So the agency has asked for $1.6 billion in the proposed 2018 budget. The money will be used to build a part of the great wall but will also be used to build 28 miles of levee wall in the Rio Grande Valley and 14 miles of new wall to replace fences south of San Diego.

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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