• The section of the wall that collapsed was located along the border towns of Calexico, California, and Mexicali, Mexico
  • Construction crews had been updating the section of the wall with new steel panels and fresh concrete as part of the Trump administration's larger effort to reinforce the existing border wall
  • Gusty winds blew over the new steel panels because the fresh concrete didn't have the time to set

Crews were out Thursday repairing a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Calexico, California, that was blown over by strong winds. The section had been undergoing reconstruction as part of the Trump administration’s effort to update the existing border wall.

The wall section was blown into Mexicali, Mexico Wednesday. Steel panels began leaning into Mexicali due to wind gusts around 35 mph.

Customs and Border Protection Agent Carlos Pitones told reporters fresh concrete had had been poured to reinforce the wall’s foundation to support the new steel panels being installed. However, the concrete had not yet cured and was unable to withstand the winds.

While none of the panels collapsed to the street, authorities responded quickly on both sides of the border to ensure nothing was damaged and no one was hurt.

“Luckily, Mexican authorities responded quickly and were able to divert traffic from the nearby street,” Pitones said. “CBP [Customs and Border Protection] will work with the construction contractor to mitigate the impact of high winds as construction continues.”

The work being done was part of a larger effort to update the existing border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. It’s also a means to try and deliver on Trump’s 2016 campaign border wall promise ahead of the 2020 presidential election, which the president has scaled back from his original promise of a coast-to-coast concrete wall to updating the existing wall and filling in gaps where necessary.

It hasn’t prevented the wall from facing legislative roadblocks

Funding for the wall has been a constant source of conflict for the president and Congress since Trump was sworn into office in 2017. It culminated with a 35-day government shutdown in December 2018 through January 2019 as Trump threatened to veto government spending bills that didn’t include the $5.7 billion he wanted for the wall. The Supreme Court allowed military funding to be reallocated to build the wall while litigation to block the move continues.

A portion of the wall on the US-Mexico border seen from Chihuahua, Mexico
A portion of the wall on the US-Mexico border seen from Chihuahua, Mexico AFP / HERIKA MARTINEZ