Removal of border shipping containers to cost Arizona nearly $70 million
Containers to be removed after agreement between state, feds
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP) - Removing border containers that formed a makeshift wall along the Arizona-Mexico border will cost nearly $70 million following an agreement between the state and the federal government.
The containers were in place for approximately four months until then-Gov. Doug Ducey settled with the federal government to remove the containers. Ducey’s spokesperson said the deal was made after they were given indications from the federal government that work would begin soon on a barrier of their own.
According to an amendment to the state contract with the contractor AshBritt, the removal of the containers and relocation to a storage lot will cost the state an additional $66.5 million. The agreement stated that the containers would be removed from a section near Yuma and a more extensive area in Cochise County.
The work to assemble the container wall in Yuma cost about $6 million and, according to the Associated Press, wrapped up in 11 days with 130 of the containers covering about 3,800 feet. The Bureau of Reclamation told Arizona it violated U.S. law by building on federal land. The Cocopah Indian Tribe also complained the state did not seek permission to build on its nearby reservation. The newer project is far larger, costing some $95 million and using up to 3,000 containers to cover 10 miles in Arizona’s southeastern Cochise County. The U.S. Forest Service also told Arizona to halt its work in the Coronado National Forest and alerted visitors to potential hazards posed by construction equipment involved in the state’s “unauthorized activities.”
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Documents from AshBritt said removing the barriers from Yuma County should take about two weeks to complete and cost approximately $9.4 million. The contractor notified the state removing and storing the containers in the Cochise County section will take approximately 60 days to complete and cost the state $57.2 million.
The amendments state the containers will be removed to a site near the Tucson and Yuma jails. There was no indication of what the containers would be used for in the future.
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