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Grant will go far for Suffolk

We often talk about how modeling and simulation is effective in dealing with military situations abroad as well as preparing our region for natural disasters. But now, Suffolk will be able to see first-hand the impact modeling and simulation can have to our city. Thanks to the work of the Suffolk Public Works staff, Suffolk now has $450,000 at their disposal to tackle the congestion problems facing Rt. 460. The money came from a grant received from the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Suffolk shares the grant with Isle of Wight County in an effort to help address the growing bottleneck and congestion problems created by incoming rail traffic.

The money will be used to purchase modeling and simulation software to identify opportunities to solve these current and future problems. During a presentation to City Council, Eric Nielsen, director of public works, told the council members that this new software would model impacts due to unplanned transportation alternatives, such as road closings, detours or improvements. Plus, using modeling and simulation technologies, city staff could see the impact of the Port Authority expansions as well as hypothetical scenarios revolving new development and multi-modal parks (much like the CenterPoint development currently being proposed for Suffolk).

Our region’s transportation problems continue to be a hotbutton issue. Suffolk’s proactive approach is needed. And without this grant it wouldn’t be possible.