Members of a family hug each other during the event "Hugs not Walls" at the riverbed of the Rio Grande river at the border between Mexico and the United States in Juarez, Mexico, on June 24, 2017. The event provided an opportunity for families who live across the border to hug their loved ones for four minutes. (Xinhua/David Peinado)
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Wednesday that U.S. government has started work on construction for a border wall replacement near downtown Calexico, about 190 km east of San Diego in the state of California.
The project covers an area from approximately the Calexico West Port of Entry extending westward beyond the Gran Plaza Outlets, which includes around 2.25 miles of all-weather roads, according to a statement released by the federal agency.
A wall in this area was built in the 1990s out of recycled scraps of metal and old landing mat, and the El Centro Sector wall replacement is one of Border Patrol's highest priority projects, said the CBP statement.
File photo taken on Jan. 10, 2018 shows the eight border wall prototypes between Mexico and the U.S., Tijuana, Mexico. (Xinhua/Xu Rui)
The construction of a more substantial replacement wall will better ensure the safety of agents and the public and create a better atmosphere for business and commerce, while enhancing overall border security, the statement added.
It's the first border construction project contract awarded by the Trump administration aside from eight different prototypes of border wall that were built near the Otay Mesa border crossing San Diego.
File photo taken on Feb. 15, 2016 shows migrant people reunite with their beloved at the border between Mexico and the United States in Anapra, Chihuahua state, Mexico. (Xinhua/Guillermo Arias)
The Trump administration told U.S. Congress last month that it wants 18 billion U.S. dollars over the next decade for the initial phase of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Half of the around 3,300-km border between the two nations would have a border wall or other fences by 2027 if the work was completed.