Texas

Access to Friendship Park included in project to replace worn-out border barriers, CBP says

EL PASO, TX (Border Report) – Visitors to Friendship Park will soon have the opportunity to walk up to the border wall again and meet friends on the Mexican side.

For years, officials have opened gates on the weekends, allowing families separated by the US-Mexico border to communicate face-to-face at the barrier, even touching hands through the cracks.

But the border guard blocked access to the park when they decided to replace the border walls. The agency described the repairs as badly needed, saying ocean water had corroded the walls’ structures, making them unsafe for the general public, migrants and agents patrolling the area.

In August, the agency suspended work on the project to conduct stakeholder outreach and gather feedback from San Diego residents.

When US Customs and Border Protection replaces the worn-out border barrier that stretches to the Pacific Ocean in the southwesternmost corner of the continental US, it will also give visitors on the US side of the border access to Friendship Park.

A rider looks at a wall on the US-Mexico border at Friendship Park in San Diego, California on November 18, 2018. (SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

As in years past, US Border Patrol agents will coordinate access to the park through a gate in the secondary barrier as soon as it is safe to operate.

“After reviewing the feedback received during the pause, as well as examining the operating conditions of the US Border Patrol in this immediate area, CBP has developed an approach that meets the border security needs of the area, as well as taking into account community feedback,” CBP said. in a statement.

Once completed, the Border Guard also plans to restore the Bi-National Garden in Friendship Park. CBP expects construction to be completed in about six months.

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