WASHINGTON D.C. — The Pentagon has awarded more than $787 million combined in two contracts for border wall construction and replacement projects in California and Arizona.
The projects are part of the Trump administration's request in January for $5.7 billion in Pentagon assistance for building over 200 miles of new border wall along the southwest U.S.-Mexico border, with a goal of blocking drug-smuggling corridors across the U.S.-Mexico boundary.
One of the contracts awarded Wednesday was $646 million for the design and build of a border wall in Tucson, Ariz. Southwest Valley Constructors of Albuquerque, N.M., was awarded the project.
The other contract, valued at nearly $141.8 million, is for the design and build of El Centro Project 1 and Yuma Project 1 vehicle and pedestrian barrier replacement in El Centro and Yuma. The contractor for the project is BFBC, LLC of Bozeman, Mont.
Both contracts have an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2020.
The Department of Homeland Security also announced Wednesday that it has issued two waivers to ensure quick and efficient construction of new border wall in El Centro sectors of Arizona and California.
"The projects covered by the waivers include 78 miles of new bollard wall in place of dilapidated and outdated designs, in addition to road construction and improvement and lighting installation," a DHS statement said.
The El Centro sector is one of four sectors where new pedestrian fencing is requested along with additional lighting. Other sectors include the Yuma and Tucson sectors of Arizona and El Paso.
Shanahan recently said there are 4,364 National Guard and active-duty troops on the border.