The Trump administration just unveiled 8 prototypes for the border wall — see what they look like

The top of one of U.S. President Donald Trump's eight border wall prototypes is pictured along U.S.- Mexico border near San Diego, California, U.S., October 23, 2017.

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The top of one of U.S. President Donald Trump’s eight border wall prototypes is pictured along U.S.- Mexico border near San Diego, California, U.S., October 23, 2017.
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Reuters/Mike Blake

    The Trump administration just unveiled eight prototypes for the US-Mexico border wall. Six companies were commissioned to create four concrete prototypes, and four prototypes made of “other materials.” After the concrete finishes setting in 30 days, CBP will begin the testing and evaluations phase. President Donald Trump has said he plans to inspect the prototypes himself and choose the one he likes best.

Customs and Border Protection unveiled eight prototypes on Thursday for President Donald Trump’s long-promised wall along the 1,900-mile US-Mexico border.

Workers have spent the last month constructing prototypes designed to deter illegal entry of immigrants and drugs. CBP selected six companies to build the eight prototypes, which are meant to “inform future design standards” for the wall.

Ron Vitiello, CBP’s acting deputy commissioner, told reporters at a press conference that it will take 30 more days for the prototypes’ concrete to finish setting, and then the agency will begin testing and evaluating them, and eventually submit a request for a finalized design.

Among the characteristics the prototypes are being evaluated for are to prevent breaching, climbing, and digging, as well as ensure the safety of CBP officers, Vitiello said.

Shortly after taking office, Trump issued an executive order demanding that the Homeland Security Secretary “take steps to immediately plan, design and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control of the southern border.”

Although Trump’s plans for a border wall have been beset by a number of obstacles – including the Senate’s refusal to greenlight a $1.6 billion down payment, wavering estimates on the total cost, and a lawsuit from California – his administration has moved ahead with the prototypes.

Here’s what they look like so far:


The eight prototypes have gone up near the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California, just across from Tijuana, Mexico.

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Reuters/Mike Blake

Four of the prototypes are concrete walls.

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Reuters/Jorge Duenes

The other half are made of “other materials,” including steel.

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Reuters/Jorge Duenes

Each of the prototypes were specifically designed to impede digging and climbing, and withstand breaches, Vitiello said Thursday.

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Reuters/Jorge Duenes

Two of the prototypes appear to have the “see-through” component Trump has mentioned in several rallies and interviews. The president has explained that the transparency will allow people on the US side to avoid getting hit by “large sacks of drugs” catapulted over the wall.

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Reuters/Mike Blake

Source: Business Insider


Each of the prototypes is between 18 and 30 feet high.

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Reuters/Mike Blake

“The biggest impression I have is how big they are,” Vitiello told reporters on Thursday.

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Reuters/Jorge Duenes

Construction crews first broke ground on September 26, and wrapped up by the October 26 deadline.

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Reuters/Jorge Duenes

CBP said the prototypes were designed to “deter illegal border crossings.” Here’s their video of the initial construction phase:

Construction on 8 wallprototypes began today in San Diego. The prototypes are designed todeter illegal border crossings. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/WB1rIojgLj

pic.twitter.com/WB1rIojgLjSeptember 26, 2017


And here’s a time-lapse video of the entire construction period:

Check out this time lapsevideo of the border wall prototypes in San Diego. They are almostcompleted. pic.twitter.com/wOllbiCC0d

pic.twitter.com/wOllbiCC0dOctober 25, 2017


The estimated cost for the eight prototypes is between $2.4 million and $4 million, in total. The Department of Homeland Security has said those funds are being taken from “reprogrammed money” within CBP, and is not part of the down payment funding for the final wall that still has to make it through Congress.

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Reuters/Jorge Duenes

Source: Washington Examiner


CBP must now wait another 30 days for the concrete to set. Then they plan to spend another 30 to 60 days testing the prototypes against breaching equipment, and climbing and digging tools.

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Reuters/Mike Blake

After the testing, CBP will take another 30 to 60 days to evaluate all the material and “develop a new standard” for the wall’s design, Vitiello said.

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Reuters/Mike Blake

Vitiello told reporters he believes that when barriers such as the border wall prototypes are “effectively resourced,” they work. “Recognize that it isn’t just concrete and steel — we need to have the sensors, the cameras, the patrol roads, and obviously the agents,” he said.

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Reuters/Mike Blake

Trump said he plans to inspect the prototypes himself. “I’m gonna go out and look at them personally, and I’m gonna pick the right one,” he said at a rally in Alabama on September 22.

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Reuters/Jorge Duenes

Source: NBC News