PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It was supposed to be the "Lamborghini" of border walls, but just six months after it was built, a short stretch of privately funded border wall in Texas is already showing signs of erosion. And the company behind the construction is preparing to begin the most expensive stretch of border wall ever built here in Arizona.

The company, Fisher Sand and Gravel, won a contract worth $1.3 billion to build 42 miles of fence west of Nogales. But an investigation conducted by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune showed that a stretch of wall built by Fisher in Texas was already thought to be at risk of falling down.

That stretch was funded by donors, not the federal government. On Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he never supported that specific project and alleged that the project was intended to make him look bad. However, two of Trump's allies, Steve Bannon and Kris Kobach, were involved in the project.

The US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, Ryan Patrick, also tweeted criticism of the project.

"This was a vanity project," wrote Patrick. "What a scam," he wrote.

In Arizona, Fisher has faced criticism for its work on the border wall project west of Nogales.

"Environmental analysis and common sense have been tossed out the window in a reckless push to build the border wall,” said Laiken Jordahl, borderlands campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity.

“The debacle in Texas is just a preview of what’s to come across the borderlands. We’re already seeing this same kind of sloppy work as companies ram walls through wildlife refuges and wilderness areas in Arizona. Once the construction crews are gone, we’ll be left with a crumbling scar across our public lands and a safety hazard for people and wildlife," said Jordahl.

Fisher Sand and Gravel did not respond to a request for comment, although the company CEO, Tommy Fisher, was quoted over the weekend as stating that he believes the section of the wall at issue in Texas will last 150 years.

Morgan Loew's hard-hitting investigations can be seen weekdays on CBS 5 News at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
 
 

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