U.S. officials have unveiled prototypes of President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall between Mexico and the United States.
Eight prototypes were unveiled Thursday near the border in California and now will enter the “testing and evaluation period.”
Workers wielding sledgehammers, torches, pickaxes and battery-operated tools will test the segments for 30-60 days. The tests will begin after about a month because some of the concrete needs to dry and cure.
Ronald Vitiello, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s acting deputy commissioner, said the workers will try to answer basic questions: “Can it be climbed? Can it be dug under? Can it withstand cutting tools?’’
Results of the testing will dictate future wall construction, which has not yet been funded by Congress.
In January, Trump signed an executive order instructing the Department of Homeland Security to plan, design and build a physical wall along the nation’s southern border.
Trump has asked Congress for $1.6 billion for the first installment of his wall. It would replace 22 kilometers (13.5 miles) of the old fence in San Diego and build 96 kilometers (59.5 miles) in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, the busiest corridor for illegal crossings.