Construction Begins On 30-Foot-High San Diego Border Wall

Construction crews broke ground on a 14-mile stretch of border barrier replacement in San Diego, according to Fox 5 news. 

The existing steel-mesh fence - often breached with commonly sold battery-operated saws - is being replaced with 30-foot-high steel bollards according to an announcement by US Customs and Border Protection. 

A $101 million contract was awarded to SLSCO Ltc. of Galveston, Texas to perform the work, with options for an additional $30 million in funding. 

The bollards replace a second layer of barrier that worked like a fortress when it was built about a decade ago but is now often breached with powerful battery-operated saws sold in home improvement stores.

Work on replacing a first layer of San Diego barrier is nearly complete, also 14 miles long and made of steel bollards up to 30-feet  high. The old fence, built in the early 1990s, was made of corrugated steel matting used by the military as temporary runways. -Fox 5

The Trump administration has been unsuccessfully sued by California as well as major environmental groups over various wall projects in the state, claiming that the administration overreached its authority when it waived environmental reviews in order to expedite construction. 

The Department of Homeland Security cited a 1996 law giving the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to waive legal requirements for the installation of "additional fencing, walls, roads, lighting, cameras and sensors on the southwest border."

The San Diego groundbreaking comes days after Trump declared a national emergency to build his proposed border wall with Mexico - which his administration is now being sued over by 16 states spearheaded by California. 

Thus far the Trump administration has awarded $1 billion in contracts to cover 97 miles of border, most of which will replace existing barriers. Work is expected to begin later this month on a 14-mile stretch in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.