From the beginning of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign, he has proposed building a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico, which spans nearly 2,000 miles, all part of his promise to “Make America
White Great Again.” In February 2016, CNN scrutinized the possible ideas for the project, consulting with civil engineers and other construction experts.
Though the experts deemed that the strongest wall would be made of cinder blocks. However, such an endeavor would be inefficient in terms of time and labor costs, as each block would have to be stacked one at a time.
The experts also discussed pouring cement to build a wall, and realized that it would be an even worse idea. Because the area adjacent to the U.S.-Mexico border is generally very hot and dry, the concrete poured to form the wall would dry before the chemical reaction necessary to the mixture’s integrity would be complete. As a result, the finished wall would crumble to the ground.
They then ascertained that the best possible choice would be a wall constructed using pre-casted concrete panels measuring 10 feet across and 20 feet high set at least five feet underground and reinforced with steel. But even then, the project would require over 26 billion pounds of material between the two and a half million tons of steel and the 339 million cubic feet of concrete.
Though early in February 2016, Donald Trump estimated that the wall’s construction would cost about $8 billion, the engineers with whom CNN spoke placed the cost at closer to $10 billion, a figure that does not include the cost of labor over the four years required for the construction. Granted, Trump has vowed that Mexico and not the United States would foot the bill for the project. However, as the wall would inhibit not only undocumented Mexican immigrants but probably also tourists and vacationers from the United States who contribute at least $12 billion to Mexico’s economy annually, it’s highly doubtful that Mexico’s government officials would agree to pay for an ugly edifice that not only would be commissioned and built to spite them but would put a serious crimp in their yearly national revenue