Throughout Donald Trump presidential campaign, he promised the construction of a physical barrier along the United States-Mexico border.
Immediately following his inauguration, his administration prepared the groundwork for such a construction: he vigorously petitioned Congress for the funds necessary to build the wall and he had companies offer prototypes for the 20-ft. tall border wall.
Besides its height, NPR previously reported the wall had some other crucial qualifications:
The government outlines the types of things both types of walls have to stand up to: “sledgehammer, car jack, pick axe, chisel, battery operated impact tools, battery operated cutting tools, Oxy/acetylene torch or other similar hand-held tools.”
It has to look good, too. “The north side of wall (i.e. U.S. facing side) shall be aesthetically pleasing in color, anti-climb texture, etc., to be consistent with general surrounding environment,” the CBP says.
Trump’s team narrowed down the number of companies who are in competition for the wall’s contract and each company has built a prototype of their barrier in San Diego, California.
It is being reported these prototypes are now undergoing their first test: whether or not the wall can be climbed, or if someone could pass underneath by digging.
Officials have begun testing how easily someone can climb over the border wall prototypes near the Otay Mesa port of entry, progressing to the next phase of a process that may make President Donald Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” a reality.
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Testing will include whether and how quickly someone could go over the top of, under and through the walls.
Both anti-climb and anti-dig testing will happen at the prototype site in Otay Mesa, according to CBP officials. Anti-breach testing will happen with smaller versions of the walls at an undisclosed, secure site in San Diego.
“This phase is not structured as pass/fail but rather the results will provide CBP leadership the best attributes among the constructed designs for inclusion in future border wall design specifications,” said an official from Customs and Border Protection.
Newsweek has more on the testing:
Physical tests, expected to last 30 to 60 days, include scaling the wall with ropes and hooks and using saws, jackhammers and other tools to measure durability, Customs and Border Protection officials told Newsweek Wednesday.
“CBP is testing the prototypes against the techniques used by smugglers on the southwest border to circumvent current border barrier,” Carlos Diaz, Southwest Branch chief, said in an email.
— BBC North America (@BBCNorthAmerica) December 8, 2017
For details on the testing, click here.