Thursday, March 20, 2008

Timmins Seeks Pothole Solutions

Pothole reporting has taken on a new twist in Timmins. Pothole spotters no longer have to grumble about their discoveries in the coffee shop. They can now go online and report it on the pothole section on the City of Timmins website.
The new reporting procedure was revealed to city council this week as council members discussed the annual pothole problem. The input page asks the pothole spotter to describe the location of the hole and the dimensions of the hold in inches.
The pothole reporting page is located at:
Pothole spotters may also report in via e-mail at:
Residents who do not have ready access to the internet can report a pothole via telephone by calling Public Works at 360-2600 ext. 2646.
The revelation of pothole reporting on the city’s website led to more serious discussions about what the city can do to resolve the pothole problems.
City Engineer Luc Duval told council that during a recent visit to the Ontario Good Roads Association conference in Toronto, he met with several road building and road-repair experts to discuss new and better ways of looking after roads.
“There were quite a few exhibits of contractors and suppliers that offer different products. I stopped at every booth and gathered information,” said Duval who says he will be working to measure successes and failures.
Councillor Gary Scripnick reminded council he had asked for a report last year on finding better ways.
“We’ve all seen the truck run around trying to shovel hard asphalt out of the back -- have we progressed to any other better means of filling potholes this year, or are we doing it the same as we did last year?”, Scripnick asked. “I was hoping it would be better this year than last year.”
“To keep it simple, could we have someone phone around to the other communities, North Bay, Sudbury, Parry Sound and find out if they have three guys in a truck shoveling, or do they have any other equipment?,” Scripnick asked. “I am not asking for a complicated report,” he added.
Councillor John Curley told council he knows there is a business in Sudbury that promises to have a realistic and reliable solution. Curley suggested the city may want to contact the supplier to send a few truckloads of material to Timmins to test it out on Northern Ontario roads such as Algonquin Boulevard.
Councillor Denis Saudino said he endorsed Curley’s idea of having a realistic Northern Ontario solution.
Saudino said Timmins is “the perfect lab, I’m talking about a testing lab, and that’s Algonquin Boulevard.”
He said the Northern winters and heavy ore trucks and log-haulers give Timmins roads a severe beating.
“Maybe we should issue a challenge to these companies,” said Saudino. “We give them one section of Algonquin to try out their products and have a runoff and have a contest.”
He suggested that a prize of five or ten thousand dollars be presented to the business that shows off the best pothole patching product.
Saudino said Sault ste. Marie and Sudbury also have serious pothole problems and that driving in North Bay last week “was like a minefield.”
“There’s got to be some solution. Its frustrating for our department and just as frustrating for the public,” said Saudino.

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