Federal Government breaks ground on first border wall replacement project awarded under President Trump

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

CALEXICO (KUSI) — The federal government Wednesday broke ground on the first border wall replacement project awarded under President Donald Trump.

Customs and Border Protection is replacing a 2.25-mile section of border fencing constructed in the 1990s using scrap metal with a 30-foot-high bollard-style wall just south of downtown Calexico. The project covers an area west of the Calexico West Port of Entry, according to the agency.

This project “is one of Border Patrol’s highest priority projects,” according to a CBP statement “Although the existing wall has proven effective at deterring unlawful cross-border activity, smuggling organizations damaged and breached this outdated version of a border wall several hundred times during the last two years, resulting in costly repairs.”

This is the first border construction project contract awarded by the Trump administration aside from the eight prototypes for a wall built last year near Otay Mesa.

SWF Constructors of Omaha, Nebraska won an $18 million contract for the Calexico project in November after the administration waived environmental and other project reviews for the project. A 2005 law allows the waivers if the Homeland Security secretary deems a wall to be in national security interests.

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