Border shipping containers to be removed by the end of the week
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The container wall at the Arizona-Mexico border in the Coronado National Forest is coming down in the next few days. The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, or DEMA, says, “unless something unexpected happens, the last of the shipping containers along the border in Cochise County should be removed by the end of the week.” So far, DEMA says the project has cost taxpayers $139.8 million. That is expected to rise until the last containers are removed. DEMA officials say the containers are being transported to state facilities in Yuma and Tucson until a “plan for them is determined.”
The Southwest conservation advocate for Biological Diversity, Russ McSpadden, says the walls in the Coronado National Forest have already come down. “The 4 miles of shipping containers that were placed in the national forest are completely removed from the border,” he said. “I thought it would be more later like February or March.”
Former Gov. Doug Ducey ordered crews to stack containers to help secure the border. After a legal battle with the federal government, the two sides reached an agreement to take the wall down. McSpadden says crews destroyed trees and parts of the habitat for endangered animals. “This is an incredible place for Arizonans and people from around the country and world to recreate,” McSpadden said. “Putting the shipping containers there was a huge, huge waste of money.”
Gov. Katie Hobbs opposed this project from the start. Her administration sent us this statement Wednesday:
We reached out to the Coronado National Forest and warned people to stay away from the parts of the forest crews were working. They responded early Thursday morning. “The containers have now been removed, but the closure will remain in place until the construction site is secured.”
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