The New Jersey Turnpike Authority admits it did a poor job of plowing the Garden State Parkway in Monmouth County, where motorists encountered traffic backups and multiple accidents Friday morning.

The Garden State Parkway in Monmouth County Photo credit: Joseph Eugene

“We did not do an adequate job of clearing snow and ice on the Garden State Parkway between the Driscoll Bridge and the Asbury Park Toll Plaza," said Joseph W. Mrozek, the Turnpike Authority's executive director, in a statement issued late Friday morning.

Mrozek said single-digit temperatures overnight complicated clean-up efforts along a section of parkway he called "historically" difficult to keep clear during winter storms.

"Salt is less effective in extreme cold," he said.  A series of accidents in the area caused further complications. The accidents caused backups, and our plows had difficulty getting through traffic to the places where they were needed."

New Jersey Fast Traffic's Bob Williams spoke with a number of drivers who reported accidents in the local and express lanes north of Exit 105 in Eatontown, where traffic was brought to a standstill. State Police cited at least 42 reported accidents between Holmdel and Bloomfield Friday morning, most of them minor, according to Capt. Stephen Jones.

Mrozek denied reports the Turnpike Authority ran out of salt. "Our salt supplies are low, but we do have salt," he said. "We are expecting additional shipments of salt during the day today and through the weekend."

The morning's problems will be used by the Turnpike Authority as a learning experience that will result in better deployment of "equipment, materials and manpower" along that section of the parkway during future storms.