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US awards contracts for prototypes of concrete border wall

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello, shows a concept illustration of an enforcement zone of the U.S.-Mexico border during a news conference announcing the selected vendors for construction of the concrete wall prototypes for the border wall Thursday in Washington.

Associated Press

A company based in western North Dakota secured a government grant to build a prototype of a concrete wall for the country's southern border.

Dickinson-based Fisher Industries, which has an office in Billings, was among four companies awarded contracts from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates as part of the Department of Homeland Security.

The awards were announced Thursday. The Associated Press reported that the prototypes will cost $3.6 million and will be built in San Diego.

The Fisher contract is for five years and up to $300,000, according to federal data. 

Fisher has branches in Billings, Livingston and Glendive. Its Tempe, Arizona, office was named by the federal government as the one building the prototype.

“We are extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this important project,” said Thomas Fisher, the company's president, in a press release.

A border wall between the United States and Mexico has been a high-profile piece of President Donald Trump's agenda. Trump often said that Mexico would pay for the wall, though lawmakers have looked at cutting resources like federal disaster aid to fund the project.

The prototype will consist of reinforced concrete that is 18 feet to 30 feet tall, according to the Border Patrol. The agency plans to announce awards for another batch of prototypes, which would be made from materials other than concrete.


General Assignment Reporter

Reporter for The Billings Gazette.