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Prototypes For Wall Rising Near San Diego Border

San Diego Other

Construction on eight border wall prototypes broke ground earlier this week in a fenced area several miles east of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry at the U.S.-Mexico border. The prototypes, four constructed of concrete and the others made of alternate materials, will be 30 feet long and range in height from 18 to 30 feet, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The contractors building the prototypes are Caddell Construction Co., Montgomery, Alabama; Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., Tempe, Arizona; Texas Sterling Construction Co., Houston; W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co., Philadelphia, Mississippi; KWR Construction Inc., Sierra Vista, Arizona; and ELTA North America Inc., Annapolis Junction, Maryland.

Access to the site is restricted, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection has posted a real-time video of the construction site on Twitter. U.S. officials have been preparing the area for weeks, erecting chain-link fences, blocking road access with concrete barriers, installing security cameras and marking designated parking zones.

Customs officials said a free speech area for protests would be set up nearby. 

The high potential for demonstrations prompted the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to pass an ordinance Tuesday that allows the county to create special zones in unincorporated areas where knives and other possible weapons are temporarily prohibited. The ordinance is intended to protect First Amendment rights while keeping people safe, supervisors said.

“This is a divisive time in our nation’s history. And frankly, we already have a border fence in San Diego, so I am not sure why we were targeted to do the prototypes here in San Diego. I think Texas would have been more appropriate, but it is what it is today,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob said.

The San Diego City Council passed a resolution Tuesday opposing the border wall. Environmental groups and the State of California have filed lawsuits against the wall, challenging the federal government’s waiver of environmental and other laws to build the structure. Those suits are pending and have not stopped work on the prototypes, which are funded with a $20M budget from the federal government.