Monorail, nuclear waste among ideas for southern border wall

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A monorail and nuclear waste are among the proposals submitted for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico as hearings on the wall took center stage in Congress today. (KGO-TV)

A monorail and nuclear waste are among the proposals submitted for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico as hearings on the wall took center stage in Congress today.

The government will select finalists later this spring, but details are sketchy on how long it will be and how much it will cost. Some companies are avoiding the bidding altogether, but others across the country are now waiting to learn if they'll be moving on to the next phase of the bidding process.

"There's a lot of passion going on both sides of this," San Diego contractor Russel Baumgartner with Concrete Contractors Interstate said.

Proposals were due yesterday, and Baumgartner hopes that he won't face any backlash from the community for his idea - a concrete wall with artwork on both sides.

"I would hope they understand that we're builders and that's what we do. We're not politicians," Baumgartner said.

In order to be considered proposals had to meet strict criteria.

The wall has to be at least 30-feet tall and impossible to climb over. It also must be impossible to dig under, for at least six-feet.

Aside from that, homeland security secretary John Kelly didn't have many details today when testifying on Capitol Hill.

How much it will cost is still up for debate.

"What it'll look like, how tall it will be, how thick it will be, what color it will be, is yet to be determined," Kelly said.

This comes as new numbers show that illegal border crossings have gone down.

According to ABC News, 33,000 crossed in March of 2016, compared to 12,000 this year, equaling a 63-percent drop.

"All we know is that physical barriers do work, if they're put in the right places," Kelly said.

Some are questioning the need for the wall, saying it would do more harm than good.

"There's so much uncertainty, to bid on an uncertain project, where you have very certain public anger in many areas, has made a lot of companies shy away," Professor Harley Shaiken with the UC Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies said.

The Department of Homeland Security says a combination of wall, fencing, and surveillance will likely make up the final design.

Related Topics:
immigrationborder wallPresident Donald TrumpcongressmexicoWashington D.C.San Diego
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