A WALL THAT PAYS FOR IT­SELF

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS -

Pres­i­dent Trump created a rip­ple of tit­il­la­tion this week dur­ing his visit with Repub­li­can law­mak­ers when he men­tioned the bor­der wall be­tween the U.S. and Mex­ico could in­cor­po­rate so­lar pan­els, gen­er­ate power and make some money.

A very Trump-ian idea — which came from Glea­son Part­ners, one of the 600 build­ing firms which ex­pressed in­ter­est in bid­ding on the ac­tual con­struc­tion of the wall. The so­lar-pan­eled wall, the Cal­i­for­nia com­pany said, could pro­duce 2.0 megawatts of elec­tric­ity an hour, and “pay for it­self.”

Mr. Trump pre­vi­ously al­luded to an­other pro­posal which added fea­tures like pub­lic view­ing decks to the wall which would ap­peal to ea­ger tourists, again pro­vid­ing a po­ten­tial fund­ing source. In­deed, the bor­der bar­rier has brought out some old-fash­ioned Amer­i­can in­ge­nu­ity.

One com­pany says a “smart wall” em­bed­ded with fiber op­tic ca­bles could de­tect tun­nel­ing or climb­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Two pro­pos­als pre­sented walls based on his­toric de­signs, one mod­eled af­ter the Great Wall of China, the other from clas­sic Medieval de­sign.

An­other con­trac­tor pro­posed a 30-foot steel mesh bar­rier with the Great Seal of the United States on each panel. One bid­der pro­poses a pol­ished con­crete bar­rier that in­cor­po­rates art­ful ar­range­ments of stones and other pleas­ing ma­te­ri­als. A smooth-sur­faced, slop­ing “se­cu­rity cur­tain” is an­other prospect, along with a strik­ing zigzag de­sign.

The De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity is ex­pected to an­nounce the fi­nal­ists in the bid­ding com­pe­ti­tion some­time this month.

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