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Border wall survey underway

Although the City of Laredo passed a resolution against a border wall and were sued by the federal government for access to survey land back in June, they ultimately agreed to allow the federal government to go in and survey land along the city property.
Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 11:15 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - If you’ve been along the river banks you probably have seen people surveying the area... this is the first step to the much talked about border wall construction.

Congress appropriated 69 miles of border wall to be built in the Laredo sector.

To date, 31 miles of border wall have been awarded to government contractors, but in the coming weeks the remainder of the 38 miles will be awarded to contractors so the border wall construction can begin.

“We don’t need a wall,” said Mercurio Martinez III. “We are not completely against walls, walls have their functions, walls have their purpose. We don’t particular feel we need a wall for this area in south Texas.”

Although the City of Laredo passed a resolution against a border wall and were sued by the federal government for access to survey land back in June, they ultimately agreed to allow the federal government to go in and survey land along the city property.

The case was dismissed in early September.

On Thursday, surveyors were seen working on behalf of the federal government.

“They are surveying the land, so they can see all the peaks and valleys of the terrain. They are surveying to see where the creeks are so when they do build their wall they will build it and they will probably build it. Depending on who gets elected.”

Council Member for District 3 Mercurio Martinez III has spoken on the matter and says he’s seen designs of the wall but it’s unclear if the design he’s seen will be used here.

Officials say contracts have already been given for the building of the wall in phases.

The first phase is from the railroad bridge south to the H.B. Zachary Ranch, the second phase is from the north railroad bridge to the Pico Water Treatment Plant, and a third phase from the Pico Water Plant to the Columbia Bridge.

“We have agreements in place with the landowners, the city to be doing that work,” said Chief Matthew Hudak of U.S. Border Patrol. “That’s part of the important work our people need to be doing, the engineers, to make sure that when we are talking about the border wall and infrastructure that we get it right. In terms of placement and construction and those are efforts going on in the areas that we’ve already awarded the contracts too.”

Chief Matthew Hudak says they will do all that is necessary to secure the border.

“So we’re going to use all the tools and capabilities that we have to be able to do that to do that job effectively. Because that ultimately that is the expectation the public has for us.”

City officials say they still have the option to go to court to try and stop the building of the wall, but time will tell if they will go ahead with that option.

The president of National Border patrol Council Local 2455 Union, Hector Garza sent a statement that says in part:

"It is important for city leaders to take a cooperative approach with the federal government so the City of Laredo has input on the placement and design of the border wall and the bulkhead.

The federal government has made it clear that the border wall will be built in the Laredo sector.

As a city, we must work with the federal government to ensure we have a say so on the placement and design of the wall."

Copyright 2020 KGNS. All rights reserved.

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