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Replacement of 'outdated fencing' completed at Naco border

Construction crews installed the last metal border fence panel on Tuesday, completing a project to replace 7.5 miles of "outdated pedestrian fencing" near the port of entry in Naco, Ariz. 

A crew with Granite Construction lifted the last 18-foot high panel into place with a crane, as part of a project that began in January to replace the wire mesh and landing-mat fencing with a bollard-style fence, said Rob Daniels, a spokesman with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

The overall project, which includes replacement fencing, road improvements, and improvements to low-water crossings for Border Patrol vehicles in the area south of Bisbee, is expected to be completed next month, said Daniels. 

This section of replacement fencing is expected to cost $44.7 million, at an estimated cost of $6 million per mile, according to an estimate given to the U.S. Government Accountability Office by CBP. 

A similar project in Sunland Park, N.M. should also be completed this May at a cost of $13.41 million, the GAO said. 

Plans for the replacement fencing began four years ago, and funding for the project was approved last year by the Obama administration, said Daniels. 

The new barrier in Naco is similar to similar "bollard fence" sections installed in Douglas and Nogales. Made of steel, the metal poles are spaced apart to allow agents to see through barrier, and capped with a metal plate to make climbing over them difficult. 

About 80 percent of the Tucson Sector's border with Mexico has some kind of pedestrian or vehicle barrier. 

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The final panel of border fence is installed by Granite Construction crews in Naco, Arizona on Tuesday.