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Repairing border fence can be costly

July 29, 2011 at 10:50 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- Most of the debate on a fence between the United States and Mexico is about building it but maintaining it can be costly, federal officials said.

The office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., announced Thursday that Kellogg Brown & Root of Houston has won a $24.4 million contract for three years to maintain the barrier along Arizona's southern flank, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

The items to be kept in repair include fencing, roads and bridges, electrical systems, drainage ditches and lights. Vegetation has to be kept under control and litter picked up.

Jenny Burke, a spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, said the one-year cost of the contract is $7.7 million, with options for two one-year extensions. The three-year cost would be $24.4 million.

Border fencing between Arizona and New Mexico cost between $2.6 million and $7.4 million a mile, the newspaper said.

Arizona shares a 378-mile border with Mexico, with 123 miles of pedestrian fences that are 12-25 feet high and another 183 miles of vehicle barricades.

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