The Trump administration told a federal court Wednesday that it has canceled a portion of border wall it had planned to build near Yuma, Arizona, saying costs for other parts of the wall are coming in higher than anticipated and there’s not enough money to go around.
The Army Corps of Engineers, which is handling construction for Homeland Security, blamed “difficult terrain” at some locations for hiking the cost.
Brigadier General Glenn A. Goddard revealed the change in plans to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which is handling two lawsuits challenging President Trump’s attempt to use Pentagon money to build the wall.
The canceled section was to be build along several miles of the Colorado river just before it reaches the U.S.-Mexico border. The wall would have be erected on land belonging to the Cocopah Indian Reservation.
“Due to the difficult terrain at some of the approved project locations, contractor pricing for certain projects and segments approved by the secretary of Defense on February 13, 2020, was higher than expected,” Gen. Goddard told the court.
The Army Corps had planned to use some of the $3.831 billion in money Mr. Trump ordered siphoned away from other Pentagon accounts and toward wall building this year. He made the move after Congress refused to approve his full wall request in the fiscal year 2020 spending agreement.
Gen. Goddard didn’t say which other sections of wall were coming in higher than anticipated.
The Washington Times last month that Customs and Border Protection had reduced the overall vision of wall construction by 22 miles because the cost was coming in higher than anticipated now that specific projects are being assigned.
The current vision calls for 731 miles to be constructed from the money Congress has appropriated, combined with what Mr. Trump has siphoned from other accounts. That’s down from the 753 miles CBP had predicted earlier this year.
At 731 miles, it would still be by far the largest wall-building project in U.S. history, outstripping construction of all previous presidents combined.