It’s not a matter of if a privately built border fence along the shores of the Rio Grande will fail, it’s a matter of when, according to a new engineering report on the troubled project. The report is one of two new studies set to be filed in federal court this week that found numerous deficiencies in the 3-mile border fence, built this year by North Dakota-based Fisher Sand and Gravel.
The reports confirm earlier reporting from ProPublica and The Texas Tribune, which found that segments of the structure were in danger of overturning due to extensive erosion if not fixed and properly maintained. Donations that paid for part of the border fence are at the heart of an indictment against members of the We Build the Wall nonprofit, which raised more than $25 million to help President Donald Trump build a border wall.
Law & Crime reports:
Fisher Sand & Gravel, was also awarded a record-high $1.3 billion government contract to erect a portion of the federally funded U.S.-Mexico border wall. Despite FSG’s prototype being rejected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for lacking in both “quality” and “sophistication,” President Trump directly inserted himself into the process for evaluating and awarding the contracts, lobbying on behalf of FSG and the firm’s CEO Tommy Fisher.
Fisher described his design as the “Lamborghini” of walls. The rosy outlook was not shared by Alex Mayer, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso who reviewed both reports. “It seems like they are cutting corners everywhere,” Mayer said. “It’s not a Lamborghini, it’s a $500 used car.”
Fisher, who has made a number of Fox News guest appearances in the past, reportedly sold Trump on his company by playing to his impatience with the lack of progress on his signature campaign promise, telling the president he could build the wall faster and cheaper than other contractors bidding on the project.
It’s not a matter of if a privately built border fence along the shores of the Rio Grande will fail, it’s a matter of when, according to a new engineering report on the troubled project.https://t.co/quWnBknLdf
— ProPublica (@propublica) September 3, 2020