WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump boldly declared last summer that he would "build a great wall" along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, and that "nobody builds walls better than [him]." Months later, Trump continues to stand by these claims and insists that Mexico will pay for the wall's construction.
According to an engineer writing for the National Memo, for Donald Trump's proposed border wall to be effective, it has to be at least 20 feet high above ground and stretch five feet below ground. Trump told MSNBC in early February he was envisioning something between 35 to 40 feet tall.
In terms of building material, cinder blocks are readily accessible and they would make a sturdy wall. However, stacking each block one-by-one is labor intensive, reported the National Memo. Casting liquid concrete into formwork along the border is another option. But walls made this way are usually weak when they solidify in dry, hot environments.
Lining up precast concrete panels and reinforcing them with steel is the most plausible option. According to the National Memo, more than 12 million cubic yards of concrete is needed to create Trump's wall — over three times the amount used to build the Hoover Dam.
By multiplying the wall's price per square foot by the number of miles the wall would cover, Trump estimates that his wall will cost around $8 billion.
His calculation does not include construction costs, the cost of building on different terrain as well as the cost of buying private land. CNBC calculated that factors like these could drive the price upwards of $15 billion.
Good thing Mexico is footing the bill.