NEW JERSEY – The annual statewide campaign to repair potholes across New Jersey is underway, according to New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.
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,” Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “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 in the most aggressive and efficient manner, 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. 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.
As the weather warms up and asphalt plants reopen, our 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 generally will be done overnight.
In the past five fiscal years (FY16 – FY20), NJDOT has repaired on average 195,965 potholes per year. So far in FY21 (July 1, 2020 – March 1, 2021), NJDOT has 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. If you cannot safely move over, slow down.
In addition to our crews monitoring and reporting potholes that need repair on state highways, we encourage motorists to report potholes as well. Motorists may call 1-800-POTHOLE or go online to report potholes on state roads using a new mapping feature to help identify the exact location of the pothole. The Department responds as quickly as possible, especially to reports of potholes that create safety concerns based on their size and location.
To report potholes on county roads, contact the appropriate jurisdiction and for town roads, contact your local Department of Public Works.