About a mile of border wall along the border with Mexico is constructed each day, according to the Pentagon.
The Army Corps of Engineers awarded about $2.5 billion in projects in April and May to build 129 miles of the border wall in New Mexico, Arizona and California. With the exception of $3 million, the entire $2.5 billion pool of money is obligated on contract. The remaining chunk will be obligated before the end of September, the Pentagon said.
Jonathan Hoffman, assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, said the Department of Homeland Security has the lead on prioritizing which sections of wall get built first.
“We’re working on their priorities,” Hoffman told reporters Thursday. “We’re relying on border patrol agents on the ground, the people who have the most knowledge, to tell us where the border wall should be built.”
Thursday’s update on border wall construction comes after a federal court filing by the Defense Department stated that three proposed sections of border wall for Arizona are on hold because they’re going to cost more than DoD planned on spending for the 20 miles of construction.
The filing is part of three ongoing lawsuits over using $2.5 billion in DoD counter-drug funding on border projects.
The delayed programs were chosen largely either because they were upgrades or replacements to existing facilities, a senior defense official told reporters in a Pentagon briefing Wednesday, or because their contract award dates are not scheduled for a year or more.
The Pentagon announced earlier this month that $3.6 billion was diverted from 127 military construction projects and instead will be used for border wall construction.
Hoffman said that the funding from construction projects, authorized after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, will be used to construct 175 miles of border wall.