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Government is paying too much, North Dakota-based company says
A U.S. company has offered to build a portion of President Donald Trump's border wall for less than 20 percent of the estimated $8 billion cost, the Washington Examiner reported.
Fisher Sand and Gravel CEO Tommy Fisher said that his North Dakota-based company could build 234 miles of border wall for $1.4 billion.
"Our whole point is to break through the government bureaucracy," Fisher told the Examiner. "If they do the small procurements as they are now … that's not going to cut it."
Fisher said the government has overpaid for the construction along the U.S.-Mexico border, adding that his company could build the wall, plus incorporate paved roads and security technology and provide a warranty for $4.31 billion.
Where's the money?
Last month, Congress authorized $1.375 billion as part of a budget compromise to avoid shutting down the government a second time. However, those funds can only be used for about 55 miles of barrier in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
The president issued an emergency declaration for $3.6 billion after Congress wouldn't approve full funding for the southern border wall. Trump also wants to move another $3.1 billion from the defense budget to help pay for the wall. Democrats are trying to block the emergency declaration.
Fisher said $1.4 billion would cover the cost of building 20 miles of levee wall in the Rio Grande Valley as well as an additional 214 miles of wall.
What about other border wall projects?
Last month, Texas-based SLSCO Ltd. began construction in California on a secondary border wall to replace 14 miles of steel-mesh barrier with a 30-foot tall steel bollard wall.
"This project is directly north to the San Diego primary fence replacement project that is currently under construction funded with FY 2017 funding," U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in an earlier release.
The $101 million contract was awarded to SLSCO in December with options for an additional $30 million.
There are two layers of barrier that run parallel along the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego. The primary wall replacement is nearly completed.
Also, construction on a 25-mile stretch of wall has begun along the Texas-Mexico border using funds that were set aside by Congress a year ago. The omnibus approved $641 million for Hidalgo County wall.
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