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State officials have shortlisted five firms to design and build barriers on the Texas-Mexico border — including some companies that had the quality of their work or its impact on the environment questioned on previous wall projects under the Trump administration.
The Texas Facilities Commission, the state agency in charge of awarding the contracts, is currently interviewing BFBC of Texas, Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., Posillico Civil Inc., SLSCO and Southwest Valley Constructors Co.
Francoise Luca, a spokesperson for the commission, said the agency will decide which companies will win contracts, but there’s no announced timetable for publicly naming the winners. All five companies previously have been awarded federal border wall contracts or have been considered for those contracts under the Trump administration.
In 2020, North Dakota-based Fisher Sand & Gravel built a 3-mile long wall at a cost of $45 million at the edge of the Rio Grande in Mission. The company was hired by We Build the Wall, a nonprofit that crowdfunded private donations and listed Steve Bannon, a former Trump political strategist, as a board member.
A Texas Tribune/ProPublica investigation found last year that the company’s wall showed signs of runoff erosion that, if not fixed, could put the wall in danger of falling into the Rio Grande, according to engineers and hydrologists who reviewed photos of the wall.
Tommy Fisher, the company’s president, has dismissed the concerns through a company lawyer, Mark Courtois, who called the erosion “a normal part of new construction projects like this and does not in any way compromise the fence or associated roadway.”
After that project, the company also won a $1.3 billion federal contract for border wall construction in Arizona in May 2020.