In what has and will continue to be one of the more controversial construction projects in American history, the US/Mexico border wall appears to be moving forward and there are many construction firms across the country that are very interested in the $20 billion project.
Posted by Federal Business Opportunities on February 24, 2017 and modified on March 3, 2017, the border wall has already drawn interest from 180 different construction companies, according to CityLab. The formal solicitation of the project to interested parties will be sent out on March 8. Preliminary planning estimates for the all include a requirement for a 30 foot tall wall made of concrete that “meet requirements for aesthetics, anti-climbing, and resistance to tampering or damage.” According to the notice, the contract procurement will be broken into two phases:
1. Vendors will be required to submit a concept paper of their prototype(s) of the design-build structure by March 20, 2017. Those prototypes will then be evaluated and the finalists, or “down select,” will be chosen to proceed to phase 2.
2. Proposals will be submitted in response to the request for proposal (RFP) by May 3, 2017, including the price.
“The intent of the procurement,” the notice says, “is to acquire and evaluate available wall prototypes and provide some initial construction of some wall segments, but is not intended as the vehicle for the procurement of the total wall solution for the border with Mexico.” The notice also explains that multiple awards are intended to be issued, so it sounds like they are not planning to rely on only one company to finish the massive project on time.
The Trump Administration will be pushing to complete the wall, which will span around 2,000 miles, by the end of 2020. That’s a breakneck speed for not only the bid process, but also the construction. According to the MIT Technology Review, half of the 2,000 miles already contain natural borders, like mountains and other natural barriers, so the actually wall may only be 1,000 miles.
It’s hard to imagine that the due diligence process, the design, and actual construction of the wall could even allow for the wall to be completed by 2020, especially with the plethora of lawsuits that are undoubtedly going to be hurled its way, for not only political reasons but also environmental concerns. However, if the most powerful person in the country insists it will be done, it’s at least got a fighting chance.
What do you think? Is $20 billion and less than 4 years going to be enough to complete the wall?