Thursday, April 06, 2017

Should Trump cover the border wall with solar panels and fine art?

by Jazz Shaw

The Associated Press has an interesting look this week at the challenges facing contractors who are considering bidding to participate in construction of the border wall. Some of it is the usual partisan bickering, with groups in both America and Mexico threatening retaliation against any private contractors who dare to “support Trump’s agenda” by seeking to make a profit and working on the wall. (Interestingly enough, one of them is the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico, who said that it would be “treason” to participate.)

But that isn’t stopping everyone. Many contractors have placed bids and some of them are getting really creative. Due to some of the baseline requirements for a bid, combined with the need to make an attractive proposal which might catch the attention of the White House, contractors are coming up with all manner of proposals which include using the wall to generate power, making it a tourist attraction or turning it into a modern art project.
One bidder wants to cover President Donald Trump’s border wall with solar panels. Another suggests building a wall large enough for a deck that would offer tourists scenic views of the desert. In the competition to build the wall, traditional bids are interspersed with more whimsical ideas. As Tuesday’s deadline for bids passed, U.S. Customs and Border Protection declined to identify bidders or say how many there were, which is standard practice in government contracting. The federal government expects to announce around June 1 which companies will be hired to build prototypes.


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