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Montreal professor offers long-term fixes for city's chronic pothole problem


A Montreal professor says he has solutions to better solve Montreal's chronic pothole problem.

Preparations are already underway by the City of Montreal to fill close to 110,000 potholes as winter ends. The work will cost the city $3.5 million.

But the problem is it's just a short-term fix.

The issue, said Dr. Alan Carter, isn't about the money but rather that the roads must be properly maintained.

"We're so behind that we need more than that," said Carter, a professor in the engineering and construction department at École de technologie supérieure.

The problem extends beyond Montreal, said Carter, to other municipalities in Quebec.

His team of researchers hopes to offer a more eco-friendly and durable solution by recycling asphalt, for example.

"We do a lot of recycling in the pavements. The more recycled materials you have, the greener it is," he said. "It's possible to put plastic in the pavement."

Another option deals with temperature. Carter works with Hot Mix Asphalt, which he said can be laid at 20 degrees rather than the standard asphalt at 135 degrees.

But it comes with a caveat.

"We need to make sure those cold materials last longer. Let's say we use half the energy, but it lasts a quarter of the duration of the Hot Mix. It's not really green anymore because we'll have to come back more times," he explained.

Using recycled asphalt has already been done, and cold recycling is being introduced in smaller municipalities, like the Laurentians community of Prevost.

According to Carter, it must be used more in the rest of Quebec.

"We're still a small player for unknown reasons," he said. "My pavement will last much longer. Short-term will cost the same, but long-term, there's benefits. We go for that solution."

The City of Montreal said it is prepared to make a long-term investment toward pothole repair. In the next ten years, it will spend $880 million to help seal the pavement where potholes form. Top Stories

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