Of all the ideas that have been suggested for the border wall, there is one that may help to bring together Mexico and the U.S., instead of pitting the countries against each another over illegal immigration. I’m part of a group of civil engineers in Massachusetts that has conceived of a program that is based on a recently acquired patent for an advanced concrete construction technology for building large-scale, monolithic concrete structures capable of physically partitioning two countries while serving to promote economic development. This fast and thrifty construction method and our proposed program prove that, as far as creativity is concerned, civil engineering isn’t dead yet.
The research behind our basic design concept has roots in a scheme to irrigate the Saudi Arabian peninsula and another scheme to develop a concrete alternative for replacing earthen levees in the years after Hurricane Katrina. Our idea is to construct a monolithic concrete conveyance structure that is capable of transporting saltwater to the Gulf of Mexico, off Texas, from the Pacific Ocean, off the California coast, a distance of about 2,000 miles. Drawn off the conveyance structure, the saltwater would be desalinated using solar-powered units to produce potable water and irrigate arid terrain on both sides of the border.