The federal government has erected walls and barriers along U.S. highways at least three times longer than President Donald Trump’s proposed southern border wall.
The Department of Transportation has funded the construction of at least 3,000 miles of sound barriers along U.S. highways since 1963, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The barriers are put up to dampen the sound of highway traffic from nearby homes and neighborhoods.
“Noise barriers can be constructed from earth, concrete, masonry, wood, metal, and other materials,” the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) website says. “To effectively reduce sound transmission through the barrier, the material chosen must be rigid and sufficiently dense (at least 20 kilograms/square meter).”
The walls “must be tall and long with no openings,” according to the FHA.
Trump wants to build a 1,000-mile wall, likely out of steel slats, along the U.S. southern border with Mexico. The wall is needed to curb the flow of illegal immigration into the U.S., Trump says.
Congressional Democrats are fighting to keep Trump from approving any physical barrier to be built along the southern border. The federal government went into a partial shutdown at midnight Dec. 22 after Trump vetoed a spending bill that did not include border wall funding.
The federal shutdown has continued for nearly three weeks as Democrats continue to hold out on partially funding border wall construction. Trump has asked for $5.7 billion, much less than the $21.6 billion the Department of Homeland Security estimated a border wall would cost in 2017.
Trump has refused to budge on the $5.7 billion in funding and has promised to let the shutdown continue for “as long as it takes.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has promised that she will give “nothing for the wall.”