2007-2008 Supercomputing Challenge New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge


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Challenge Team Interim Report

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    Team Number: 005


    Area of Science: TRAFFIC ENGINEERING

    Project Title: Poke in the Eye: Traffic Congestion During the "Big I" Reconstruction

Final Report

Toward the middle of this year the city of Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico will begin the reconstruction of the interchange between Interstate 25 and Interstate 40. This project, headed by the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments (MRGCOG), will take 2 years and 250 million dollars to complete. The presently standing intersection was designed in the late 1950's to carry nearly 1/5th of the amount of traffic it currently supports on a day-to-day basis. In the last three months we have contacted several people from the Middle Rio Grande Council of Government, Los Alamos National Labs, and professors from The University of New Mexico. During our initial research we discovered TRANSIMS (Transportation Analysis and Simulation System) - currently in development by Los Alamos National Labs. TRANSIMS is a suite of interactive modules far more powerful and precise than anything we could have developed in years of work. We determined that, due to its complexity, this package of software would be the optimal modeling tool to achieve our desired outcomes. Using TRANSIMS we will attempt to generate a traffic flow simulation to model the conditions that will exist at the various stages of the construction project.

Though still in development and highly "user-unfriendly", TRANSIMS is ideal for our modeling, because it, "Simulates the movement of individuals across the transportation network, including their use of vehicles such as cars or buses, on a second-by-second basis." TRANSIMS starts with a collection of data about household activities and trips taken to carry out those activities. "TRANSIMS tries to capture every important interaction between travel subsystems, such as an individual's activity plans and congestion on the transportation system. For instance, when a trip takes too long, people tend to take other routes, change from car to bus or vice versa, leave at different times, or decide not to do a given activity at a given location. Also, because TRANSIMS tracks individual travelers-locations, routes, modes taken, and how well their travel plans are executed- it can evaluate transportation alternatives and reliability to determine who might benefit and who might be adversely affected by transportation changes." -Los Alamos National Laboratory Public Information Office.

With our traffic simulation we hope to accurately produce vital statistics that will aide in the minimization of traffic congestion during the construction. To carry this out we will obtain traffic flow and traffic count data collected by MRGCOG, reconfigure these data sets to conform to TRANSIMS (an extremely tedious task due to TRANSIMS level of development), compare and adjust our model to conform to the current best MRGCOG modeling, and then use the superior capabilities of TRANSIMS to more completely investigate different options related to the Big I reconstruction.

Team Members

Team Mail

Sponsoring Teachers

Project Advisor(s)

  • Ed Van Eeckhout, Ph.D., P.E. - Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Jerome Wm. Hall, Professor - UNM Department of Civil Engineering
  • Berry Ives, Traffic Engineer - Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments
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