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Worker Falls At Site Where Border Wall Prototypes Are Under Construction

U.S. Customs and Border Protection prepares a construction site to build prototype samples of the proposed wall along the border between the United States and Mexico in San Diego, Sept. 26, 2017.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection prepares a construction site to build prototype samples of the proposed wall along the border between the United States and Mexico in San Diego, Sept. 26, 2017.
Worker Falls At Site Where Border Wall Prototypes Are Under Construction
Construction On Border Wall Prototypes Continues GUESTS: Greg Moran, reporter, The San Diego Union-Tribune

This is KPBS Midday Edition . I am Maureen Cavanaugh. The top story , construction crews are preparing for the building to begin on eight border wall prototypes. Equipment was brought in and holes were dug. The Sheriff officials feared large protest. So far, no demonstrations have taken place. Construction is expected to last 30 days. Joining me is the San Diego Union Tribune. Welcome. 's indigo County supervisor is among those who have asked since we have a border fence in Senegal, why are other prototypes being built here? It is not clear why San Diego was chosen. The official reason was they want to replace and sing and do attentional barriers in the border wall. This remains a high traffic area for illegal entry and so forth. They wanted to strengthen the border here. You know, whether they are building these, this is the secondary fence. There are two fences where the border ends. They are adding on to that. The official reason is that this is a place where more borders were needed. Give us the facts and figures about the samples. There are eight that are made. What will they look like? That is what we are waiting to see, the design. This was a design competition with more than 40 companies around the country that put in proposals. There are six companies that want to build the company and two are building two walls. There are four walls that will be made of concrete and four that will be made of other material. There are certain specs. They have to be between 18 and 30 feet high which is very low. And 30 feet long. They cannot be climbed. They have to be insurmountable. They have to be tamper resistant for an hour. You know, they have to be done in a 30 day window to put it together. There is a small piece of property that the wall is being put up. At this point, they are pushing dirt around and digging holes and things like that. What will look like? We do not know. The designs are closely held. There is a reveal type of thing. How much is this construction costing That is a good question. They run between $300,000 and $500,000. Eight walls, let's say they max out at four main dollars but there are other expenses. You know, I am trying to figure out what those are. There are security expenses and all kinds of fencing that is put up by the CBP and the sheriff department to kind of have break that block for sensitive land. It could be paid for as part of that. In addition, there is a strong security presence for the first couple of days with the Sheriff office. That might be an expense as well. They may have a reimbursement from the government but the actual construction of the walls, you know, it could be between $3 million and $4 million. There is $20 million to play with to get this done. How will the wall be chosen ? They will finish building it and there will be a period of time, 30 to 60 days where the CDP will test them and evaluate them and make sure they are tamper resistant and they make the specs. They will look if they are aesthetics for those considerations. They will judge them with the efficacy of building them and placing them on a larger span of territory. Then, they will pick the winner or winners. There could be multiple ones. The border is over varied terrain over different environments. One may work in San Diego and it does not work in Arizona. That could be part of the consideration. Who picks? I am not sure but the president said he will pick the winner but that is not in the contract but we will see. What about the protest that officials were concerned about? What is the latest on if and where they can take place? As far as the if, not yet. I was out there this morning. There is no one out there. There has been this whole week. There are three corners. That does not mean it will not happen. Right now, there is not. This morning, there were fewer. There was the San Diego police but nothing has yet developed. The second part is that there was a couple with the sheriff department comment they were evaluating whether they should designate or would designate a free-speech zone. You can go and protest and be confined to a certain space and still exercise your right. That is widely considered and they thought they would do that. The federal officials were saying -- they were telling us that the site, there will be a free-speech zone then earlier this week, the sheriff department said no, they will not do it as long as people are lawful and stay off of private property. They can protest all they want. There will not be a free-speech area at this point. I have been speaking with Greg with the San Diego Union Tribune. Thank you. You are welcome.

A construction worker fell into a 40-foot-deep hole but emerged unharmed Wednesday at the newly activated Otay Mesa construction site where prototypes for a new border wall are being built.

RELATED: Construction Of Border Wall Prototypes Begins In San Diego

The accident at the fenced-off federal work zone just north of the U.S.- Mexico line occurred about 9:45 a.m., said Carlos Diaz, southwest branch chief for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


After being hoisted out of a shaft for a concrete footing by fellow crew members, the construction worker was able to return to his duties immediately, Diaz said.

RELATED: Trump’s Border Wall Could Be Built By San Diego Companies

Construction at the work site began Tuesday morning. Eight demo versions of President Donald Trump's proposed border wall along the southern U.S. border are slated to be erected there over the next 30 days or so, according to federal officials.