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What it would take to build Trump's border wall
02:34 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

CNN tried to figure out how the construction of Donald Trump's proposed wall along the Mexican border might be undertaken

The price tag for the wall alone would cost around $10 billion

CNN  — 

Donald Trump has called for a wall to be built along the U.S.-Mexico border since he announced his presidential campaign last June. Here’s a look at how the construction of Trump’s proposed wall might go.

The no-goes

As far as building materials go, there are a few options.

The construction experts CNN spoke to said the strongest wall would be made of cinder blocks. However, the process to build such a wall, stacking each block, one-by-one, over the entire border, would be too labor-intensive to make this choice feasible.

Another way, the experts said, would be pouring liquid cement high along the entire southwestern frontier. But as the cement solidifies in those hot temperatures, the resulting wall could become weak, leaving the project at risk of literally crumbling.

A possible answer

If a cinder block wall is too difficult and a pour-over wall too weak, the construction experts said a wall fashioned out of pre-casted concrete panels would be the workable choice.

Each panel, rising 20 feet high and set at least five feet underground, would extend 10 feet, then each would be lined up with reinforced steel along roughly 2,000 miles of border.

The civil engineers CNN spoke to estimated the panels would take at least 339 million cubic feet of concrete and 5 billion pounds of steel, ultimately lining the border with a large version of the concrete slabs on the side of some highways.

The price tag

Trump himself said in early February that his wall would probably cost $8 billion.

Basing the cost on highway panels, the price-tag for the wall alone would cost around $10 billion, which is not accounting for the cost of construction that would take at least four years over the border’s diverse terrain.

Trump has repeated many times that Mexico, not the U.S., would foot the bill.