TRENTON - New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti March 3 announced the annual statewide campaign to repair potholes across New Jersey will begin.
According to a release, this has been one of the most difficult winters in years, with heavy snowfall, freezing rain, ice storms, and temperatures continually fluctuating above and below freezing. The weather has been extremely harsh on state highways, resulting in a large number of potholes that pose a risk for motorists.
Potholes are created by water seeping into cracks in the asphalt and then expanding when it freezes.
“NJDOT crews work year-round to repair potholes and keep our highways in good condition, but at this time of year, it becomes our primary focus, especially after the winter that we have had,” Gutierrez-Scaccetti stated. “We are beginning the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s annual pothole campaign today, and will continue for the next couple of months until we have repaired the most significant potholes from this winter.”
To deal with potholes most aggressively and efficiently, the department will be allowing crews throughout the state to close travel lanes where necessary during daytime hours. Where possible, crews will limit their daytime work hours to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will try to avoid working in travel lanes carrying traffic in the peak direction during peak times.
As the weather warms up and asphalt plants reopen, crews will start to perform permanent patch operations on particularly problematic sections of roadway. This is more extensive work that includes milling and paving a small area of the road and is generally will be done overnight.
In the past five fiscal years (Fiscal Year 16–20), NJDOT has repaired on average 195,965 potholes per year. Thus far, in Fiscal Year 21 (July 1, 2020 – March 1, 2021), NJDOT repaired about 90,639 potholes, with the busiest pothole repair season just starting.
It is important to slow down in work zones, so NJDOT crews can safely make repairs. New Jersey’s Move Over law requires motorists to move over if it is safe to do so when they approach an emergency or service vehicle stopped on the side of the road.
NJDOT will be using variable message signs to alert motorists of the campaign and, to the extent possible, of lane closures that could result in temporary travel delays. Detailed current repair locations will be posted on a continual basis on www.511nj.org.
In addition to crews monitoring and reporting potholes that need repairs on state highways, motorists are encouraged to report potholes, as well, by calling 1-800-POTHOLE or going online to report potholes on state roads using a new mapping feature to help identify the exact location of the pothole.