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Author Topic: Letter from a Court Accepted Expert on Walls  (Read 227 times)

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Offline sidherose

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Letter from a Court Accepted Expert on Walls
« on: January 12, 2019, 04:52:52 PM »
Amy Patrick
January 8 at 8:52 PM


Howdy.

To recap: I’m a licensed structural and civil engineer with a MS in structural engineering from the top program in the nation and over a decade of experience on high-performance projects, and particularly of cleaning up design disasters where the factors weren’t properly accounted for, and I’m an adjunct professor of structural analysis and design at UH-Downtown. I have previously been deposed as an expert witness in matters regarding proper construction of walls and the various factors associated therein, and my testimony has passed Daubert.

Am I a wall expert? I am. I am literally a court-accepted expert on walls.

Structurally and civil engineering-wise, the border wall is not a feasible project. Trump did not hire engineers to design the thing. He solicited bids from contractors, not engineers. This means it’s not been designed by professionals. It’s a disaster of numerous types waiting to happen.

What disasters?

Off the top of my head...

 1) It will mess with our ability to drain land in flash flooding. Anything impeding the ability of water to get where it needs to go (doesn’t matter if there are holes in the wall or whatever) is going to dramatically increase the risk of flooding.

 2) Messes with all kind of stuff ecologically. For all other projects, we have to do an Environmental Site Assessment, which is arduous. They’re either planning to circumvent all this, or they haven’t accounted for it yet, because that’s part of the design process, and this thing hasn’t been designed.

3) The prototypes they came up with are nearly impossible to build or don’t actually do the job. This article explains more:

https://www.google.com/…/mobile.engineering.…/amp/17599.html

And so on.

The estimates provided for the cost are arrived at unreasonably. You can look for yourself at the two-year-old estimate that you see everyone citing.

http://fronterasdesk.org/…/Bernstein-%20The%20Trump%20Wall.…

It does not account for rework, complexities beyond the prototype design, factors to prevent flood and environmental hazard creation, engineering redesign... It’s going to be higher than $50bn. The contractors will hit the government with near CONSTANT change orders. “Cost overrun” will be the name of the game. It will not be completed in Trump’s lifetime.

I’m a structural forensicist, which means I’m called in when things go wrong. This is a project that WILL go wrong. When projects go wrong, the original estimates are just *obliterated*. And when that happens, good luck getting it fixed, because there aren’t that many forensicists out there to right the ship, particularly not that are willing to work on a border wall project— a large quotient of us are immigrants, and besides, we can’t afford to bid on jobs that are this political. We’re small firms, and we’re already busy, and we don’t gamble our reputations on political footballs. So you’d end up with a revolving door of contractors making a giant, uncoordinated muddle of things, and it’d generally be a mess. Good money after bad. The GAO agrees with me.

And it won’t be effective. I could, right now, purchase a 32 foot extension ladder and weld a cheap custom saddle for the top of the proposed wall so that I can get over it. I don’t know who they talked to about the wall design and its efficacy, but it sure as heck wasn’t anybody with any engineering imagination.

Another thing: we are not far from the day where inexpensive drones will be able to pick up and carry someone. This will happen in the next ten years, and it’s folly to think that the coyotes who ferry people over the border won’t purchase or create them. They’re low enough, quiet enough, and small enough to quickly zip people over any wall we could build undetected with our current monitoring setup.

Let’s have border security, by all means, but let’s be smart about it. This is not smart. It’s not effective. It’s NOT cheap. The returns will be diminishing as technology advances, too. This is a ridiculous idea that will never be successfully executed and, as such, would be a monumental waste of money.

Offline thelufias

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Re: Letter from a Court Accepted Expert on Walls
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2019, 05:36:27 PM »
And with the cost of the wall comes the cost of maintenance and 300+ manned watch stations.

I don't like the illegals getting over here.....but a wall is not the solution.  More dope is TUNNELED over from Mexico then any other means....People will be the next commodity.....

Adding more manned watch stations with no wall makes more sense to me.
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Offline Jherrith

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Re: Letter from a Court Accepted Expert on Walls
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2019, 05:48:35 PM »
Explain then how the wall built along the border of Israel and Gaza plus the one between Egypt and Kuwait actually are working?

There is any number of scenarios that could work, however the fact remains something needs to be done now, not later. It has been put off for far to long.
"But who is stronger, truly, I asked myself, he who continues to wound and bleed himself to please others, or he who refuses any longer to do so?"

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Offline sidherose

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Re: Letter from a Court Accepted Expert on Walls
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 06:38:17 PM »
Explain then how the wall built along the border of Israel and Gaza plus the one between Egypt and Kuwait actually are working?

There is any number of scenarios that could work, however the fact remains something needs to be done now, not later. It has been put off for far to long.


Because they shoot and kill people trying to get through it or anywhere near it - even children.

Babylon had a huge wall. It's gone. Uruk. Jerusalem. London had a wall. The Romans went into Jerusalem through one of the water tunnels and used scuppers to dig out parts of the wall. One of the Emperor's generals opened the Great Wall for the 'barbarians' to come in. The Wall's still there but the Empire was momentarily conquered. Baghdad had a wall. The Visigoth's fortresses had walls. Masada had walls. Hadrian built a wall across the English-Scottish border to keep the Scots out of England. It didn't work but it's still mostly there a symbol of failure and hatred to the English and Scots both.

As TL said, there are drug tunnels, dug UNDER the walls and fences that ARE there, but that's not the only place they come from. Remember the bit about the Coast Guard having to make drug runs down in the south? Ports of entry.

Many illegals are still here on expired visas. They came over on a plane most likely. The Viet Nam war was to destroy the poppy fields of individual opium growers, who were taking money away from the government opium growers - Agent Orange, etc. Our government sent men over there to die for the sake of the Vietnamese government. Read about Banana Republics and drugs and how responsible the US is in all of that. Walls don't stop those who will go under, around and through them. They never have, historically speaking. It's Trump's vanity wall.

There ARE other solutions to this that don't require $50 Bn bucks +. Yeah it all needs to be fixed. I don't disagree but I don't believe this stupid wall is the answer. Holding people's paychecks and livelihoods, letting our pilots fly planes without inspections or TSA, or controllers with planes full of people; our freeking food not being inspected; etc, etc. is MESSED UP. That comes first before opening bills up on Syria and Israel. They can wait. 

Pick your sushi carefully. No more warnings for salmonella, e-coli, botulism, etc. Enjoy!

Offline thelufias

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Re: Letter from a Court Accepted Expert on Walls
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 06:56:28 PM »
The solution is to have Mexico take some of the responsibility in keeping folks from making the trek and for the US to make sure our Border Patrol gets the funds it need to keep the borders patrolled properly. 

My statement is not political...but factual.  Both Democrats and Republicans are assholes when it comes to this topic. 

A wall will do nothing.  The Border Patrol doesn't shoot folks as they cross over...unless they are shot at.   The places you mentioned shot the majority of those that try to cross over their borders, just as Ray said.

There....I'm done......for the time being.
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Offline sidherose

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Offline Jherrith

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Re: Letter from a Court Accepted Expert on Walls
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2019, 07:09:00 AM »
Funny isn't it how the Democratic party supported and got a wall started in 2006, yet now the party is crying that it is immoral, ineffective with a dozen other adjectives.

The sad part is that this border has been in contention far longer then one would imagine, considering that the U.S.-Mexico border didn't exist at all until 1821
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Offline sidherose

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Re: Letter from a Court Accepted Expert on Walls
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2019, 07:54:10 AM »
Funny isn't it how the Democratic party supported and got a wall started in 2006, yet now the party is crying that it is immoral, ineffective with a dozen other adjectives.

The sad part is that this border has been in contention far longer then one would imagine, considering that the U.S.-Mexico border didn't exist at all until 1821


That's really not the point of that article, J.

Offline sidherose

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Re: Letter from a Court Accepted Expert on Walls
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2019, 07:58:10 AM »
What they voted for was a FENCE not a wall, more checkpoints.......


The Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, authorized about 700 miles of fencing along certain stretches of land between the border of the United States and Mexico.

The act also authorized the use of more vehicle barriers, checkpoints and lighting to curb illegal immigration, and the use of advanced technology such as satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles.

That's still what they're asking for, not an entire WALL.

Offline Jherrith

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Re: Letter from a Court Accepted Expert on Walls
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2019, 12:55:34 PM »

That's really not the point of that article, J.

The point I was making was that the Democratic party supported it then .... however now they no longer want to ... WHY?

Case in point it would have not got to the then (Republican) president to sign it, if the Democratic party had not agreed on it.

At this point I see that the best one can hope for in this discussion is to agree to differ ...

Thank you
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