Contractors, Read This Before You Design the Wall

Let the bidding begin.
Illustration: 731

On March 17 the Trump administration released its invitation for contractors to build the president’s “big, beautiful” border wall. Bidders were instructed to adhere to a few basic if relatively vague requirements (below) and had less than two weeks to submit their ideas. In April finalists will be asked to build full-scale 30-foot-long prototypes of their design, along with smaller mock-ups “to allow the Government to test and evaluate the anti-destruct characteristics of the bidder’s wall design.”

 Size
“The wall design shall be physically imposing in height. The Government’s nominal concept is for a 30-foot-high wall. Offerors should consider this height, but designs with heights of at least 18 feet may be acceptable. Designs with heights of less than 18 feet are not acceptable.”

Durability
“The wall shall deter for a minimum of 30 minutes the creation [of] a physical breach of the wall (e.g., punching through the wall) larger than 12 inches in diameter or square using sledgehammer, pick axe, chisel, battery operated cutting tools.”

Looks
“The north side of wall (i.e. U.S. facing side) shall be aesthetically pleasing in color, anti-climb texture, etc., to be consistent with general surrounding environment.”

 Over ...
“It shall not be possible for a human to climb to the top of the wall or access the top of the wall from either side unassisted (e.g. via the use of a ladder, etc.).”

... Under
“The wall shall prevent digging or tunneling below it for a minimum of 6 feet below the lowest adjacent grade.”

 Angles
“The wall design shall be constructible to slopes of up to 45 percent.”

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