A WALL THAT PAYS FOR ITSELF
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.