Wall to Cost $21.6b...

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Washington: Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s “wall” along the USMex­ico bor­der would be a se­ries of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 bil­lion, and take more than three years to con­struct, based on a US De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity in­ter­nal re­port seen by Reuters on Thurs­day.

The re­port’s es­ti­mated price tag is much higher than a $12-bil­lion fig­ure cited by Trump in his cam­paign and es­ti­mates as high as $15 bil­lion from Repub­li­can House speaker Paul Ryan and Se­nate ma­jor­ity leader Mitch McCon­nell. The re­port is ex­pected to be pre­sented to Depar t ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity (DHS) sec­re­tary John Kelly in com­ing days, al­though the ad­min­is­tra­tion will not nec­es­sar­ily take ac­tions it rec­om­mends.

The plan lays out what it would take to seal the bor­der in three phases of con­struc­tion of fences and walls cov­er­ing just over 2,000km by the end of 2020. With 1,046km of the bor­der al­ready for­ti­fied, the new con­struc­tion would ex­tend al­most the length of the en­tire bor­der.

Many cost es­ti­mates and time­lines have been f loated since Trump cam­paigned on the prom­ise of build­ing a wall. The re­port seen by Reuters is the work of a group com­mis­sioned by Kelly as a fi­nal step be­fore mov­ing for­ward with re­quest­ing US tax­payer funds from Congress and get­ting started on con­struc­tion.

The re­port said the first phase would be the small­est, tar­geti ng sec­tions cov­eri ng 4 2km near San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia; El Paso, Texas; and in Texas’s Rio Grande Val­ley.

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