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The principal objective of this project was to determine the feasibility of using analytical and simulation tools for the analysis of management alternatives for the bridge of the Americas the  international bridges connecting El Paso, TX with Juarez, Chihuahua. While the analysis presented in this report was built with limited data, it was able to provide good results regarding the fidelity of the representation of the real world system being modeled.


Problem Description

The international bridges connecting El Paso, Texas, in the United States and Juarez, Chihuahua, in Mexico are a vital component of the economy not only of both cities, but also of both countries. Because of the growth in cross border manufacturing and commerce activities, in the recent past the amount of traffic crossing these bridges has increased considerably. A consequence of this has been a significant increment in the waiting lines at the different border crossing.  The long waiting times at the bridges are not only a deterrent to the economic development of both border communities and also a negative factor to the already deterioratedair quality of the region and the waste of fuel and manpower.


The objective of the study was to develop a preliminary methodology to analyze the operations of the international bridges. In particular, the study, which focuses on the Bridge of the Americas, used Montecarlo simulation techniques to analyze current and alternative resource allocation. The simulation models developed were validated with actual bridge conditions with very good results. Although the data used to estimate the parameters for the simulation model were limited, the model rendered some useful results regarding alternatives to reduce the expected waiting time on the bridge while maintaining the same level of inspection effort per vehicle.

The study was divided into four phases: the first phase consisted of the design of the overall strategy, the second phase consisted of data collection, reduction and analysis, the third phase consisted of building and validating the simulation model, and the fourth phase consisted of using the simulation model to study alternative management strategies for the bridge. Each one of these phases is described next.


A recommendation of the reported study is to further develop the current model in order to develop an adaptive tool that could be used by the bridge management to react to traffic changes and availability of resources in such a way that waiting time is minimized while keeping the highest level of enforcement activities.

Demonstration of the simulationGet the Flash Player to see this content.