Responses to what’s called a presolicitation notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website on Feb. 24 have poured in from potential vendors around the world. Among them: Swiss cement giant LafargeHolcim Ltd.; British construction company Balfour Beatty Plc; and General Dynamics Corp., a U.S. defense contractor that makes submarines and tanks.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said it would likely put out a formal request on March 6 “for the design and build of several prototype wall structures.” That leaves the field wide open -- allowing companies to suggest what the structure should look like and be made of.
Those raising their hands by responding to the notice might not end up submitting tenders. But the early interest shows the enthusiasm for capitalizing on President Donald Trump’s plan to build a “great, great” wall, which he’d until recently repeatedly vowed to force Mexico to finance.
“We’re ramping up pretty fast,” said Ralph Hicks, senior vice president of governmental affairs at San Diego-based R.E. Staite Engineering Inc., which is working on a blueprint incorporating electronic-surveillance gear that would set off alarms if it sensed people approaching or tunneling underway.