EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Truckloads of buoys arrived at the border and will be installed in the middle of the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday.
Abbott said in early June that the buoys would be immediately installed.
“These buoys will allow us to prevent people from even getting to the border,” he said after signing several border security-related bills passed during the 88th Legislative Session in Austin.
On Friday, Abbott tweeted a video of several flatbed trucks dropping off dozens of the bright orange spherical buoys that will be strung along the river.
“(The Texas Department of Public Safety) is overseeing the project in Eagle Pass,” Abbott said. “More to come.”
DPS spokesman Lt. Chris Olivarez told Border Report that 4-foot-wide rotating buoys are produced by Cochrane Global and cost $1 million for 1,000 feet.
“These buoys are part of a layering effect when combined with concertina wire laid on the bank of the river and the ability to quickly mobilize law enforcement to hot spots of illegal immigration,” Olivarez told Border Report.
The buoys will have galvanized steel fixtures and rotating “radial passive blades” affixed between the buoys, he said.
They are designed to prevent human smugglers from crossing under the blades and rotating buoys and coming over from Mexico.
Shortly after Abbott announced plans to install the buoys in the river, the International Boundary and Water Commission, which oversees joint water resources with Mexico and enforces boundary treaties, told Border Report that they were “caught by surprise,” adding that it was studying the state’s proposal.
In a statement to Border Report, the IBWC said: “Our door is always open to discussions with Texas and we have recently shared information with them about our permitting process and federal law. We are studying what Texas is publicly proposing to determine whether and how this impacts our mission to carry out treaties between the US and Mexico regarding border delineation, flood control, and water distribution, which includes the Rio Grande.”
The IBWC on Friday told Border Report that the agency is still studying the buoy plan and will monitor developments.