The MacDonald Bridge experienced an opening delay of up to 4 hours this morning due to the Big Lift construction, delaying commuters all over Halifax and Dartmouth. A recent study by Dalhousie Transportation Collaboratory (DalTRAC) predicted the extent of the MacDonald Bridge opening delay. In a tri-council funded traffic simulation study, which is currently under review for WCTR procedia, the authors concluded that the probability of opening delay could range 18-30% for an hour and 33% for 3 hour period.

Key highlights from his report include: 1) Significant traffic delays for 1 hour, 2 hour and 3 hour delay scenarios, as the network reaches capacity quickly; 2) A delay beyond 2 hours does not add much to the congestion, as the system becomes saturated; 3) Multiple key intersections get worse, including Boland and Victoria Rd; and 4) A 1 hour delay could cost $22,000 in terms of economic loss due to lost travel time. A simulation of the opening delay conditions is available to visualize the impact in the micro-simulation environment.

DalTRAC researchers are ready to use their expertise in transportation simulation and modeling, in studies such as the one mentioned above, to help in risk management and transport planning to reduce the traffic impact.

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