WASHINGTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), will begin constructing approximately 13 miles of the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Levee Wall System Project as early as April 4, 2019 on federal land within the McAllen Station area of responsibility in Hidalgo County, Texas. The project area is to the west of Green Road, adjacent to Mission Main Canal and in alignment with the existing IBWC earthen levee. Early construction activities such as clearing for this area were completed in mid-February 2019.
CBP will proceed with construction as real estate becomes available within this project area. Based on language in the Fiscal Year 2019 CBP appropriation, levee wall construction will not take place at Bentsen State Park or the National Butterfly Center.
On October 31, 2018, On behalf of CBP, USACE awarded a contract to SLSCO Ltd in the amount of $145 million to construct approximately six miles of levee wall system. CBP anticipates completing approximately five of the six miles due to changes in DHS appropriations language for fiscal year 2019. USACE also awarded another contract to SLSCO Ltd on November 11, 2018 in the amount of approximately $167 million to construct approximately eight miles of levee wall system south of Alamo, Donna, Weslaco, Progreso, and Mercedes within Hidalgo County, Texas. The levee wall system will be very similar to levee wall constructed in the RGV area during 2008, but the system will also include all-weather roads, lighting, enforcement cameras, and other related technology.
The RGV Sector is the busiest sector in the nation and accounts for more than 40% of the illegal alien apprehensions, more than 43% of the seized marijuana in the southwest border for the fiscal year to date, and is second of the seized cocaine. RGV accounts for a large percentage of the southwest border illegal alien apprehensions and narcotic seizures and the majority of its activity is occurring in areas where RGV has limited infrastructure, access and mobility, and technology.
CBP continues to implement President Trump’s Executive Order 13767 – also known as Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements – and continues to take steps to expeditiously plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve operational control of the southern border.