Donald Trump, “We are Building The Wall, Mexico Will Pay for It”
The Wall on the US-Mexico border, which President Donald Trump continually promised the campaign trail, has just gotten an internal price estimate from the Department of Homeland Security. DHS says it would cost upwards of $21.6-M, and take 3.5 years to complete. Both estimates skyrocket past previous estimates by Trump and various Republican leaders in Congress.
The internal document obtained by Reuters shows that the wall would be built in three phases, consisting of both fences and Walls covering just more than 1,250 miles by the end of Y 2020.
A DHS spokeswoman said that the department does “not comment on or confirm the potential existence of pre-decisional, deliberative documents,” while the White House felt it premature to offer comment on a report not yet officially presented President Trump.
The technical considerations when building it have always been difficult, more complex than any building built by the Trump Organization. The project might even strain the limits of the Army Corps of Engineers, whose typical projects are more likely to include flood protection systems and military structures as opposed to Wall.
One engineer’s hypothetical examination of the wall shows the difficulties such a structure would face. After ruling out construction materials like concrete masonry as too time-consuming and steel mesh as fence like, the anonymous engineer decides that only steel-reinforced concrete would work for such a massive undertaking.
This would be further complicated by the hot and dry environmental conditions in place on the US-Mexico border, which can negatively effect the chemical reactions within cement.
Overall, a back-of-the-envelope estimate shows that “this wall would contain over three times the amount of concrete used to build the Hoover Dam,” the engineer says.
And it’s not just the material itself. In addition to the concrete, the need would emerge for what would essentially be traveling boom-towns for workers.
Of course, these problems can be solved, and there’s nothing precluding the creation of The Wall from an engineering perspective.
The media notes that the 1st section of The Wall would be among the smallest and most visible, covering 26 miles in thee places: near San Diego, California; El Paso, Texas; and Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. At an estimated $360-M, that section of the wall would be a relative bargain compared to the rest.
Have a terrific weekend.