MISSION, Texas — Heavy machinery has started to roll in near the National Butterfly Center, which straddles the Mexican border. Customs and Border Protection has positioned vehicles here. And construction workers and architects have started plotting out their work for the next few months, and possibly years.
As the nation’s capital grapples over how to fund the controversial border wall, construction of a new one in the Rio Grande Valley is set to begin in the next few days.
Bentsen, a top national destination for bird watching, is located down the road from the bird center and will see one of two Rio Grande Valley border wall projects run through its property. Both plans were funded by last year’s congressional appropriations. Congress green-lighted more than $600 million for 33 miles of wall in the area.
The project that will cut through Bentsen and the butterfly center was the first contract to be awarded by CBP at the end of October. It calls for six miles of new border wall and will run on the south side of the U.S. International Boundary Water Commission levee, featuring concrete slabs with 18-foot tall bollards. About two weeks after making that first announcement, CBP awarded a second contract for another eight miles. – READ MORE