- The Texas Facility Commission (TFC) announced on September 3rd that it recommends the joint venture of the engineering office Huitt-Zollars from Dallas and the engineering office Michael Baker International from Pittsburgh for the role of project manager for the planned border wall to Texas. Both have experience building hundreds of miles of border wall projects under previous presidential administrations, according to the Washington Examiner.
- The JV refused two other competitors, Versar and DE Corp. (formerly Dannenbaum Engineering). Before the decision is final, it has to be voted on by the commissioners and the amount of the contract has not yet been determined, according to the auditor. The TFC will finalize the recommendation during its September 16 meeting.
- The state border wall project, announced in June by Governor Greg Abbott (see above), has received over $ 300 million in public and private funding to date, with another $ 750 million according to the Texas Tribune in new funding on the table.
Abbotts Emergency declaration A June “humanitarian crisis” on the southern border has sped up funding for the project, and the border wall is now closer to becoming a reality.
A TFC spokesman told Construction Dive in July that while the emergency declaration was unusual, the rest of the process would proceed normally. Construction Dive contacted Huitt-Zollars and Michael Baker but received no response.
According to TFC, the scope of the project is to complete as much of the project as possible in the shortest possible time on state and private land.
“In response to the governor’s instruction, TFC will launch a strategic initiative to build TBW in 2021” [Texas Border Wall] Segments on state owned, municipal and private property from El Paso to the Gulf Coast. The initiative envisages sequencing several phases of the development of the unsecured border over several years with the aim of completing as much of the wall as possible in the shortest possible time, “it continues the tender published by the TFC.
The border wall is funded by a combination of government and private funds. Abbott secured $ 250 million in government funding in July, and the project has received $ 54 million in funding from private donors, although it is unclear who the donors are. Experts deal with one Lack of transparency, so the grandstand. In addition, the Texas House approved one an additional $ 2 billion for border security, of which $ 750 million will go to the border wall, according to the Tribune.
Construction Dive reported on Abbott’s involvement in building the wall in June. It is unclear whether Abbott has authority to build a wall on his state’s southern border. according to NBC News. While some of the land is owned by the federal and state governments, much is also private property, which has been an obstacle for former President Donald Trump in his efforts to build a wall. To cope with this, the wall will only be built on land where the owners allow construction to avoid lawsuits, according to the auditor’s report.
Even so, Abbott said action is needed to resolve what he calls a humanitarian crisis in the state. In the past few months, the flow of migrants across the US border has risen sharply, so US News & World Report.
“While securing the border is the responsibility of the federal government, Texas will not stand idly by as this crisis builds,” Abbott said. “This is an unprecedented crisis and Texas is responding with the most robust and comprehensive border plan the nation has ever seen.”