VANCOUVER -- A fence being installed along the Canada-U.S. border near Vancouver is meant to stop cars from crossing the boundary illegally, border officials say.

Non-essential travel between Canada and the U.S. has been shut down since March, with those restrictions set to remain until at least Sept. 21. 

This week, a short fence was seen being built along the border between Langley, B.C., and Lynden, Wash. It's not clear when construction started or how long the fence will be.

The U.S. Border Patrol told CTV News Vancouver in an email that its Blaine sector is currently overseeing the construction project and that it involves installing a "cable barrier system" along the section of the border.

The statement also says the barrier is meant to "prevent vehicles from either accidentally, or purposefully, crossing the boundary and endangering citizens in both countries."

"This safety cable barrier not only protects people in the United States and Canada, but it also aids in securing this portion of the border by deterring illegal vehicle entries in both directions," said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Tony Holladay. 

"Locally in our community, trans-national criminal organizations have capitalized on this vulnerable area by smuggling both narcotics and people. The enhancement to this specific border area mitigates the threat posed by these dangerous criminal enterprises."