Homeland Security issues RFPs for border wall

All lined

All lined

Donald Trump's Mexican border wall will be nine metres high, hard to cut through and look good - at least from the United States side - according to documents posted online.

One request calls for designs of a solid concrete wall, while the other requests plans that incorporate a "see-through component" to the wall for "situational awareness".

The US Customs and Border Protection agency is seeking design bids for the construction of $300mn worth of wall prototypes along the Mexican-US border.

President Donald Trump's campaign promise to build a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border came one step closer Friday to becoming a reality.

Its stocks had risen to eight-year highs on speculation that the wall would require US$1 billion of concrete.

The requests say the wall should be cost-effective to build and fix. The largest would stretch more than 10 miles and would wall off the entire area between the Hidalgo and Donna bridges. The documents don't stipulate how the wall should appear from its Mexican side, suggesting Trump doesn't care so much about the border wall's aesthetic for those south of the border. The request specifically mentions it must successfully endure for at least 30 minutes - but ideally more than four hours - attempts to bore through it with a "sledgehammer, vehicle jack, pick axe, chisel, battery operated impact tools, battery operated cutting tools, Oxy/acetylene torch or other similar hand-held tools".

The specifications leave almost all of the design work to interested bidders, who now have about two weeks to develop and submit their plans, known as proposals.

"Trump is asking the Americans to pay for the wall", Governor Graco Ramirez of the Mexican state of Morelos said in a news conference. Finalists will make a two-and-half hour long oral presentation to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, which is overseeing the contest.

The prototypes, or scaled-down sample walls, are to be built in Southern California, close to the Mexican border in the USA city of San Diego.

Cuevas, the head of the Senate foreign relations committee, said negotiations were also under way to amend existing laws on public works projects and government purchases to exert similar pressure. While the hefty document details numerous structure's requirements, the actual design of the wall will ultimately be determined by whichever builder wins the contract. The administration ultimately wants 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 immigration agents.

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