300,000 Potholes and the New Jersey DOT Plans to Repair Them All
It's been a long cold winter in New Jersey, and as a result, thousands of potholes have appeared on roadways throughout the Garden State.
On Monday, the New Jersey Department of Transportation launched a pothole repair campaign.
"We intend to repair, or fill 300,000 potholes in the immediate future. Anybody who travels the roads knows they have taken a beating and we need to get on this right away. The DOT will spend $4 million on pothole repairs," said DOT Commissioner Jamie Fox at an event in Hamilton.
Fox said repairs will begin immediately in north, central and southern New Jersey, using patch crews and large "pothole killer" trucks that can be operated by one person.
"When you have a lot of ice, which we did this past winter, it causes more damage than sometimes when you have a lot of snow," he said.
Fox said New Jersey has been hit with 40 different snow and ice storms over the past few months.
"We ask the public to help us find those potholes that we don't know exist, by calling 1-800-potholes," Fox said. "We can't be everywhere and we need the public's help."
Fox said working as commissioner has trained him to become a part-time meteorologist, an expert on salt and now an expert on potholes.
Assistant DOT Commissioner of Operations Andrew Tunnard said patch crews and 13 pothole killer trucks will be out on the roads starting after the morning rush hour, wrapping up before everyone heads home.
"If we have to work extended hours, we work that out with our traffic systems management group and make sure we announce it so as to not impact the commuting traffic too much," he said.
Tunnard said the quick patch crews and the pothole killer trucks each take about the same amount of time to fill a pothole on the state's roadways.
"The cold patch quick throw, probably about five minutes to set it, stamp it down, make sure it's safe and then move on to the next one, and probably about five minutes with the pothole killer," he said.
When the weather really warms up, with the lowest temperatures not dropping below freezing at night, DOT crews will switch from cold patch material to hot asphalt patching, which is more permanent.