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Bacteria could help prevent potholes, new testing suggests

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Believe it or not, there’s a certain type of bacteria with the potential to make roads more durable and help prevent potholes. La Presse reports that a team at Polytechnique Montreal will experiment with a new technology over the summer.

They’ve found that using special bacteria could help produce a stronger material and therefore make pavement more resistant to stress and changing weather conditions.

About 15 years ago, some microbiologists developed bacteria that generate calcium carbonate when in the presence of calcium salt. These solid particles can bond with sand and gravel to better withstand the weight and repeated abuse of vehicles.

If the tests are successful, the technology could eventually be used to prevent potholes (or at least reduce their depth) and strengthen building foundations.