The 30-foot-high, 2,000-miles-long wall will cost at least US$21 billion and would be completed within two years.
More than 600 U.S. companies have said they were interested in building a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border, one of U.S. President Donald Trump’s major campaign promises which he had said Mexico would pay for despite the country saying it won’t.
In an executive order just weeks into his presidency, Trump instructed the department of homeland security to put together a plan to build the wall that would cover the almost 2,000-mile-long border.
In late February, the department put out a presolicitation notice for “the design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border (with) Mexico,” the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
The department’s website shows that 600 companies have signed on for the project. The formal solicitation will go online sometime around March 15, the department said earlier this week, and concept papers will be due five days later.
The government is seeking a wall that was “nominally 30 feet tall, that will meet requirements for aesthetics, anti-climbing, and resistance to tampering or damage.”
An internal report by the department reported by Reuters last month estimated the price of a wall along the entire border at US$21.6 billion. Several surveys showed that most U.S. citizens do not want the wall.
During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly said that he would make the Mexican government pay for the building of the wall. After his inauguration, the issue of the wall strained ties between the two countries after he again said that Mexico would pay for it.
Trump’s executive order for building the wall and his reiteration that Mexico would pay for it prompted the Mexican president to cancel an official trip to Washington to meet the U.S. president earlier in February.
It was later revealed that during a phone conversation between the two presidents, Trump had threatened his Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto with sending U.S. military to his country to deal with “bad hombres” because the Mexican Army seems to be “scared” of them.
Now Trump says that he will seek a 20 percent tax on all imports from Mexico to pay for the construction of the wall, a plan that has not been finalized yet.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said last month that he expected the construction of the wall on the Mexican border would be completed within two years.