Demolition of aging border fence in Yuma begins, will be replaced by upgraded barriers
Published by John on
A spokesperson for Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector said work crews began dismantling the older barriers on Wednesday, the same day that the federal government issued a waiver to expedite the replacement of 31 miles of fencing in Yuma.
The Border Patrol did not disclose the location where crews had begun demolishing the landing-mat fencing on Wednesday, but they noted that the replacement bollards were not being installed yet.
The first of six segments slated for replacement in the Yuma area is a 26-mile stretch of landing mat located just east of the San Luis port of entry. It juts east into the Arizona desert.
In October, Barnard Construction Co. of Bozeman, Mont., won the $324 million contract to replace 32 miles along the Arizona-Mexico border, including the 26 miles in San Luis.
In early April, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced they had awarded two other contracts to Barnard Construction to replace an additional 11 miles, using funds that the Department of Defense reprogrammed as part of President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration at the border.
On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security issued two waivers allowing the federal government to waive a series of environmental, natural-resource and land-management laws to expedite construction of the barriers in Arizona.
That paved the way for construction crews to begin demolishing the landing-mat fencing in San Luis.
In addition to the 26 miles in San Luis, the Homeland Security waiver also covers approximately five miles of new bollard fencing along the Colorado River, an area that has seen large numbers of families wading across the low-water levels to enter the country and turn themselves in to border agents.
It includes one and a half miles near the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range.
Other areas slated for replacement includes one mile of landing-mat fencing surrounding the Andrade port of entry, which is west of the California-Arizona state line but falls within the jurisdiction of Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector.
Crews will replace five miles of wire mesh fencing with newer bollards surrounding the Lukeville port of entry.