CBP replaces nearly 2.5 miles of old border wall in Calexico

Officials: Smugglers have damaged wall over years

CALEXICO, Calif. (KGTV) - Nearly two and a half miles of the current border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in Calexico are being replaced with 30-foot high, bollard-style walls.

The section of the replacement, which broke ground last week, extends from the Calexico Port of Entry westward just past Gran Plaza Outlets, according to Customs and Border Protection officials. The project also includes 2.25 miles of all-weather roads.

CBP officials tweeted out photos of the construction Thursday, saying "replacement project in Calexico is going well. 30-foot tall steel bollard wall is stacked on the ground waiting to be installed after the removal of old landing mat barrier."

RELATED: President Trump to visit San Diego, inspect border wall prototypes

The section under construction was built in the 1990s out of recycled metal scraps and old landing mat.

While officials said the wall has proven effective, "smuggling organizations damaged and breached this outdated version of a border wall several hundred times during the last two years," resulting in costly repairs.

The construction is separate from President Donald Trump's promised wall across the border. The project is the first border construction contract awarded by the Trump administration, aside from the eight prototypes for a new wall built near Otay Mesa last year.

INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: President Trump's border wall

The president is expected to make a visit to view the prototypes sometime in March.

While a federal judge sided with the Trump administration in a lawsuit against the wall by environmental groups and California, Trump tweeted California's portion of the wall is on hold until the entire wall is approved.

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