Construction on Arizona replacement border barrier begins

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PHOENIX (AP) — Construction on a 2-mile portion of replacement fencing funded by President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration has begun in southern Arizona, one of several projects that will build hundreds of miles of new and replacement barriers.

Crews broke ground on the project Thursday and plan on installing 30-foot (9-meter) steel fencing to replace older barriers next to the official border crossing this week.

The project is funded through the Defense Department. Use of the department’s money was previously frozen by lower courts while a lawsuit proceeded. But the U.S. Supreme Court last month cleared the way for the use of about $2.5 billion.

Environmentalists have sued over some of the construction contracts, saying they would damage wildlife habitat.

A border wall was a major milestone of the president’s election campaign. Congress this year allocated $1.4 billion, but the president wanted much more.

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