A Dozen Contractors Chosen for $5B of Construction Projects for Border Wall
President Trump’s dreams for a border wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico are moving forward as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has selected 12 contractors from around the country to compete for up to $5 billion worth of horizontal construction projects over a five-year period ending in 2024
A total of 38 companies originally put in requests for the project, a list that was winnowed down to a dozen, the Military Times reported last week.
The selected contractors are BFBC (Bozeman, Montana); Texas Sterling Construction Co. (Houston); Bristol Construction Services (Anchorage, Alaska); Burgos Group (Albuquerque, New Mexico); Gibraltar-Caddell JV (Montgomery, Alabama); Fisher Sand & Gravel (Dickinson, North Dakota); Southwest Valley Constructors Co. (Albuquerque); Randy Kinder Excavating (Dexter, Missouri); Martin Brothers Construction (Sacramento, California); SLS Ltd. (Galveston, Texas); Posillico Civil Inc./Coastal Environmental Group JV (Farmingdale, New York); and CJW JV (Santa Ana, California).
Fisher Sand & Gravel assumes a somewhat unique position on the list; in addition to being prequalified, they also filed a protest against previous Army Corps border wall contract awards, according to the Washington Examiner. Fisher alleged in official protests to the U.S. General Accountability Office and in a federal lawsuit that the contractor selection process was unfair for having excluded contractors from the bidding process.
In response, the Army Corps rescinded a $187 million contract it awarded to Montana-based Barnard Construction and conceded that other contractors had been cut out of the process. The Army Corps has not yet acted on the other award Fisher is protesting: a $789 million contract to SLS Ltd., also on the Army Corps’ $5 billion bidders’ list.
Though lucrative, the contracts are not without risk, given divided public opinion on the border wall as well as more formal repercussions by lawmakers, as Commercial Observer previously reported. The California State Senate, for instance, passed Senate Bill 30, in 2017, which will prevent the state from entering or renewing a contract related to Trump’s border wall, per State Senator Ricardo Lara, who crafted the legislation.
The awards come a year after requests for bids were first put out in response to Trump’s executive order in January 2017 to secure the southern border, Bobby Petty, a spokesman for the Army Corps, which is overseeing the project on behalf of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told the Military Times.
The firm-fixed-price contracts valued at up to $5 billion will include work on barriers, patrol, access roads, lighting access gates, drainage improvements, levee walls and other improvements along the U.S.-Mexico border from California to Texas.
Though not specifically awarded to fund Trump’s February National Emergency Declaration that includes using up to $3.6 billion in military construction funds for a border wall, the corps could issue task orders under this program for that purpose, Petty told Military Times.
Petty added that while the companies have been selected to bid on individual task orders for this project, the money to pay for them could come from either the U.S. Defense Department or U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
No individual tasks have yet been identified, Petty said, adding that they will be issued as needed until the $5 billion is spent or the 2024 deadline has expired.