"The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, required DHS to complete construction by December 31, 2008, of either 370 miles or other mileage determined by the Secretary, of reinforced fencing along the southwest border wherever the Secretary determines it would be most practical and effective in deterring smugglers and aliens attempting illegal entry. DHS set a goal to complete approximately 670 miles of fencing by December 31, 2008. Of these miles, DHS planned about 370 miles of pedestrian fencing--fencing that prevents people on foot from crossing the border, and about 300 miles of vehicle fencing--barriers used primarily in remote areas to prohibit vehicles engaged in drug trafficking and alien smuggling operations from crossing the border. Most of the pedestrian fencing under construction is single layer fencing--referred to as primary fencing. However, in some areas a second layer of fencing--referred to as secondary fencing--is being constructed parallel to existing primary fencing for additional operational advantage to deter illegal cross-border activities. In September 2008, we testified that SBI fencing project costs were increasing and land acquisition issues posed a challenge to DHS in meeting its goal to have about 670 miles of fencing completed by December 31, 2008.3 Also in September 2008, DHS revised its goal such that it planned to have these miles either built, under construction, or under contract by December 31, 2008. In December 2008, DHS reported that it planned to complete all but one of the fence projects by March 2009."
GAO-09-244R Secure Border Initiative Fence Construction Costs