President Trump has been very clear from the beginning of his campaign that he was going to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but who's going to build it?
The chairman of Mexico's largest cement company initially said he would "gladly" consider bidding on the project. Cemex Chairman Rogelio Zambrano Lozano told the newspaper Reforma that if asked for a quote, his company would be willing to offer one. After the company faced backlash for its willingness to help build the wall, however, Cemex did not participate in the bidding process.
Hundreds of companies have already indicated their interest in the project to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, which expects to award the initial contracts in April. They range from large construction firms to small fence companies and security firms.
Dozens of Hispanic-owned businesses submitted proposals to design and build prototype walls. For some, the potential profit may outweigh any conflict of interest.
One company that appears to be a good fit to supply concrete for the wall is U.S. Concrete. The Texas-based producer could provide precast concrete panels and, because it's the largest producer of site-mixed volumetric concrete, could more easily supply concrete to remote locations.
According to SFGate, companies who bid on the wall may be blacklisted from doing jobs in San Francisco. Berkeley became the first city to pass legislation that bars doing business with companies involved with building Trump's border wall.
The administration wants to build a 30-foot-high border wall that looks good from the north US-facing side and is difficult to cut through. While the cost of the wall is still up for debate, it has been reported to be in the $10 billion to $25 billion range.
The CBP contract states the wall must also be built in a such a way that it would take at least an hour to cut through it with a “sledgehammer, car jack, pick axe, chisel, battery operated impact tools, battery operated cutting tools, oxy/acetylene torch or other similar hand-held tools.”
Before the wall can be built, Trump will have to hire more lawyers and prepare for a long and expensive battle over private land. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, prototypes for a wall could be built as soon as June.
Originally featured in The Concrete Producer magazine.