The photo above shows the tiers construction workers create for the back of the “tactical levee” so that ultimately they can build a vertical –rather than a typical 45 degree angle– levee that meets DHS’s needs.
Above you gain perspective on the depth and height of the levee-wall structure. This site will ultimately house an 18 foot wall vertical structure that a vehicle can drive on top off and along the side. The sheer or vertical side of the structure faces south, toward Mexico.
In the photo above Margaret stands beside a levee wall under construction. The wood-like panel near her head is the concrete on the other side and will be the south side of the concrete vertical levee–wall. The steel posts provide reinforcement for the concrete. The white tube-like plastic snake near Margaret’s foot is placed in the concrete so that when the temperature shifts the concrete has “give” to contract or expand without producing cracks.
Margaret Dorsey and Godfry Garza snapped these photos on 15 January 2009 when Godfry Garza guided her on a levee tour. Due to safety concerns, residents are no longer allowed to informally drive over and view the construction. Our tour covered roughly half of the levee system under construction in Hidalgo County. We drove from East to West starting near the old town of Penitas and concluded outside of Granjeno. That tour cover approximately half of the levees in Hidalgo County. Some of the construction I viewed on the tour included levees within a hundred yards of the international border and other levee construction occurred about half a mile from the international border. I plan to take another tour to view the remainder of the levees under construction as soon as a County representative is available to do so.