HIDALGO, TX (KRGV/CNN) – Border Patrol agents discovered a 60-foot-long tunnel still in progress this week at the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas.
It’s located in Hidalgo, along roughly the same stretch of the border that President Donald Trump personally visited earlier in January.
It would run under where Trump has proposed a wall go.
Border Patrol contacted Othal Brand, the president of the Hidalgo County Water Improvement District 3, for help. The tunnel is located about 1,500 feet downriver from his pump station, on U.S. Fish and Wildlife property.
"You've seen them on the news in Arizona and New Mexico and stuff like that, but I’ve never seen one in the (Rio Grande) Valley,” said Brand. “That's the first one I’ve seen in our backyard.”
He said he’s used his equipment to help federal authorities before.
“We have equipment that they don’t have, and we’ve helped them in the past,” he said. “And they thought we might have something that we could just collapse it with.”
But, Brand said, this job isn’t that easy.
“This one’s different. It’s got 4-by-4 and plywood, on both sides and top; 4-by-4s about two, three feet apart all the way in,” he said. “I mean, it’s pretty stout.”
The construction of the tunnel isn’t the only problem. It’s located at the bottom of a 30-foot embankment, making it almost impossible for Brand to get equipment down there.
“It’s hard for me to put a piece of equipment on the edge of a 30-foot sand cliff, and reach down and try to collapse something, without putting my own piece of equipment and my operator at risk,” he said.
Brand said he, Border Patrol and U.S. Fish and Wildlife will work together to try and find a way to get rid of this shortcut to the Rio Grande Valley.