Kingston road engineers are encouraged by what they have seen so far after the city adopted stricter standards for the asphalt it uses to repave its roads.

Five years ago the city began testing asphalt quality and now paves its collector and arterial roads with a purer type of asphalt that's free of cheap additives and modifiers.

Mark Campbell, city of Kingston

Kingston construction manager Mark Campbell said the life expectancy of the roads will make up for the higher cost to produce the asphalt. (CBC)

Mark Campbell, the construction manager with the city's engineering department, said the new methods are about 10 per cent more expensive, but said he expects the city to save money in the long run.

"The longer you can get out of a life of asphalt, the more you reduce the costs," said Campbell.

"We figure somewhere around a half a million dollars per kilometre of two-lane road to pave, so if you can extend that half a million dollars for an additional, 20, 30, 40 per cent in life expectancies, those costs are coming down dramatically."

The initiative is based on research by Queen's University engineering professor Simon Hesp.

​Hesp said taking out impurities in the asphalt can delay the cracks in the asphalt that lead to potholes.

"You can modify that in good ways, leaving out the deleterious additives such as the acid, the bases, pig manure, and waste engine oil. And you can put a little bit of modifier in that does work, and you can have roads that last a very long time," said Hesp.

Kingston is not the only location where the technology is being tested. The province’s Ministry of Transportation is testing the results at 33 sites across Ontario.

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