President Trump has for years expressed a desire to have the border wall bollards painted black, arguing that will make it look more imposing and will also cause it to be too hot to touch in the summer. While military commanders and border officials thought they had talked him out of the idea, apparently they were wrong: Four administration officials tell the Washington Post that at a meeting last month, Trump told Jared Kushner and aides the paint plan would be moving forward, and tasked them with getting cost estimates. Painting estimates from federal contracting officials provided to the Post ranged from $500 million to a staggering $3 billion if premium "powder coating" is applied.
In addition to driving up the cost of a project the Post notes is "already is one of the most expensive federal infrastructure projects in US history," painting the bollards might not actually accomplish what Trump is hoping for, experts tell the newspaper. The unpainted metal will already absorb quite a bit of heat, and painting it black will increase its heat retention capacity by less than 10%, per one materials engineer. There's also the fact that the paint will fade due to sun exposure, and will likely need to be repainted after about a decade. See the Post for much more. One sample reaction to the story: Intelligencer calls the painting plan an "egregious waste of taxpayer dollars." (Read more border wall stories.)