The Trump administration is testing part of the US-Mexico border wall with black coating, a move that comes after President Donald Trump expressed his desire to paint his signature wall black but also could cost an extra $1 million per mile.
US Customs and Border Protection, which oversees border wall construction, is painting approximately 450 feet of new border wall in San Luis, Arizona, using a “coal tar epoxy,” in an effort to assess the operational benefits, according to the agency. The border agency is testing for a “coating which will extend the life of steel,” a spokesperson told CNN.
It will also be tested at the US Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico, this summer. If successful, the coating will be used in other locations, the agency spokesperson said. CBP did not immediately respond to questions about how success will be measured.
During an Oval Office meeting last year, Trump told various government officials that he wanted the wall to be painted black and to include French-style doors. The idea appeared to die down since. But a few months ago, Trump wanted the wall painted again, according to an administration official.
Painting the wall comes at a cost. Depending on what paint is used, it could increase the cost up to $1.2 million per mile, the official said. If paint is applied to all 450 new miles that Trump has said will be built by early next year, the price tag would be roughly $500 million.