OTAY MESA, Calif. – Nine months into his first term, President Trump's proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is finally beginning to take shape.
Eight architectural models of what the wall may look like are one week from completion at a construction site just miles away from the southwesternmost point of the United States. Each unique structure has been designed with the challenges border patrol officials currently face in mind, giving way to prototypes with razor wire edges or bottom-heavy cement foundations.
When the 30-day construction period ends next week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials will begin testing each prototype for the unit's ability to prevent climbing, tunnelling, and destruction.
The Washington Examiner took an up-close look at each of the eight prototypes, which measure in at around 30 feet in height, along with a tour of the current barriers that exist to prevent illegal border crossings into the United States.
Take a look at the exclusive images below:
Dozens of illegal immigrants easily cross from Tijuana, Mexico into San Diego, Calif., through a single fence-like barrier in the 1980s. (Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
A rusted 8-to-10-foot wall made of Vietnam-era landing mats sits along the border of Colonia Libertad, an impoverished area of Tijuana that is known for "generational smuggling." This wall serves as the primary barrier along the Mexican border and was built between 1991-1995. It can easily be crossed using ladders, ramps, or simply by climbing it. (Arik Dashevsky / Washington Examiner)
This secondary barrier, made of steel mesh and topped with concertina wire, was built in 1997 to further prevent illegal border crossings into the U.S. The square cutouts on the lower half of the fence are areas where illegal immigrants have used power tools to create an entry point for themselves. Border Patrol agents said they averaged one to two cuts per day in 2016. (Arik Dashevsky / Washington Examiner)
Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., an Arizona-based company, completes its concrete wall prototype. The structure is 30-feet tall. (Arik Dashevsky / Washington Examiner)
A second Arizona-based company, KWR Construction, comes down to the wire as it works to complete construction on a prototype made of unidentified material before the Oct. 26 deadline. (Arik Dashevsky / Washington Examiner)
Texas Sterling Construction Co. has lined the top of its concrete prototype with steel mesh and impaling, anti-climb spikes. (Arik Dashevsky / Washington Examiner)
A prototype by Alabama-based Caddell Construction Co. features a see-through bottom and solid upper half. According to U.S. Border Patrol agents, a see-through concrete structure that currently stands along certain parts of the border has been easily compromised in the past and can be extremely expensive to repair. (Arik Dashevsky / Washington Examiner)
From left to right: Texas Sterling's prototype; Caddell Construction's prototype; a second prototype by Caddell Construction Co. features a thicker bottom half; a steel wall with a rounded top built by ELTA North America Inc., a company based in Annapolis, Md.; a solid concrete prototype by W.G. Yates & Sons; the finishing touches are put on a second non-concrete prototype by W.G. Yates & Sons, a company based in Philadelphia, Miss. (Arik Dashevsky / Washington Examiner)