Crews begin widening road near Arizona Trail for border wall construction

Arizona Republic (July 21, 2020) by Rafael Carranza

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency overseeing the planning and construction of physical barriers along the Arizona-Mexico border, said work has begun to raze and widen a large swath of protected land within a national park to prepare for border wall construction.

CBP released more details about the project and its effect on the Coronado National Memorial and the popular hiking route known as the Arizona Trail. The information was provided in response to an Arizona Republic request for information about the construction timeline.

The existing patrol road will be widened within an area known as the Roosevelt Reservation, a strip of federally owned land that runs parallel to the border and extends 60 feet to the north.

“In addition, the construction contractor will be clearing and grading a border enforcement road on the border in areas along the border where no road currently exists,” CBP said. “Following the improvements and construction of the patrol roads, trenching and installation of the new border wall will begin.”

The border agency said crews with Southwest Valley Constructors, an affiliate of the Omaha, Nebraska-based Kiewit Corporation, began “widening and improving the existing patrol road” to the east and west of the 4,750-acre national park.

The Coronado National Memorial includes flat areas of the San Pedro Valley at the base of the Huachuca Mountains and the southern part of the mountain range itself, before it crosses into Mexico. The area is rugged and pristine.

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