Potholes in Timmins could be a thing of the past, says one expert. Dr. Simon Hesp spoke to Timmins city council last week about how using the best quality asphalt will add years to the life of our roads. Dr. Hesp worked with the MTO and Queens University to create better asphalt. He says the average quality has gone down in the past 25 years.

“We see this all over the province,” says Hesp. “Everywhere we see premature failures, and especially the bad ones are more prevalent than the good ones.”

He says Northern roads need extra consideration, because if any bit of water gets into the pavement, it will freeze and expand, which ends up in potholes. He says as a test, they cooled pavement down for three days, and the low quality stuff breaks down.

“The winter is three months, six months, in Timmins,” continues Hesp. “You will cool it for six months, you can double, triple, quadruple, the stiffness. And all the poor qualities asphalts, they will fail.”

Hesp has been working for 15 years create the best quality asphalt. He says by using that, roads will last many years longer, which can save millions. Right now, all kinds of materials go into low quality asphalt that easily breaks down, including vegetable oil, motor oil, and even pig manure.

“They put it in, no matter what. If they can get it cheaply, they will put it in your asphalt you can be guaranteed,” says Hesp. “If you can ban it, and force them to disclose with pre approval, than you can be sure that you keep your samples. If the road fails we can investigate, we find it, the contractor will pay rather than the taxpayers of Timmins.”

He says three new types of pavements are being tested, including one that is meant for extreme cold.

Hesp says Timmins is known for our potholes, and if Algonquin is going to be fixed, council should take into account what kind of pavement is being used.