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Work begins to fix border fencing
Construction is under way to repair a 114-foot section of border fencing that collapsed last summer near Los Algodones, Baja Calif.
According to Agent Kyle Estes of the Yuma Sector Public Affairs Office, a contractor has finally been selected and work on the fence began Wednesday.
“It should take about a month or six weeks to complete the project. About the end of March is what they are expecting.”
Estes said the 18-foot-tall section of steel fencing collapsed at about 8 p.m. July 25 during excavation work on the Mexican side of the border.
The excavating equipment belonged to Haro Express, a Mexican material transporting company. The company was reportedly under a deadline for a construction project on a plaza in downtown Algodones.
The section that collapsed is about a quarter-mile west of the U.S. Port of Entry in Andrade, Calif., and is part of the network of fencing that stretches along the border, including the 126-mile Yuma Sector, to prevent illegal immigrants and drug smugglers from entering the country.
Estes said the collapsed fence is about 13 feet inside U.S. territory, so workers can repair it without ever crossing to the Mexican side. The fence is made of heavy steel and is reinforced by footings buried underground.
Border Patrol beefed up security measures in the area when the fence collapsed to prevent illegal border crossings from coming through the gap. Those included erecting a temporary chain link fence, using flood lamps to keep the area well lit and increasing the number of agents on patrol in the area.
Estes said in the past six months, the Border Patrol has not seen an increase in the number of attempts being made to enter the country illegally in that area.
“It hasn't been a problem having that stretch of fence down.”
The increased security will remain in place until repairs have been completed, according to Estes.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.