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Working to Fix ‘Pothole Hell’ [AUDIO]

Following the worst winter in decades, the New Jersey Department of Transportation continues to patch potholes that appeared everywhere on roadways across the Garden State.

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Townsquare Media NJ

“From July of last year through this week here in April, we’ve filled 230,000 potholes,” said DOT spokesman Steve Schapiro. “That’s quite a bit more than we fill in an average year; normally we fill about 160,000 potholes.”

Schapiro commended DOT workers for the repairs they’ve already done.

“Our crews have done a great job of being out there every day filling potholes, getting them repaired, and getting our roads in good shape,” Schapiro said.

He also said the rash of potholes that’s appeared is the result of the most severe winter in decades.

“We had more than 50 events where our crews were mobilized either spreading or plowing this winter, which is about twice as much as we normally experience in a winter,” Schapiro said. “We had a lot of freeze-thaw cycles. That freeze-thaw cycle is actually what damages roadways.”

To fix the roads, he said the DOT continues to send out dozens of “throw-and-go” patch crews to fill in potholes.

“Usually four to five crew members are out there,” Schapiro said. “Now that the asphalt plants are reopening, we can get hot asphalt. That makes a much more durable repair than using the cold patch material.”

In addition, Schapiro said pothole filling machines are also used.

“The machine has a long hose out of the truck that basically blows air and cleans out the pothole, getting it free from sediment and debris, and then hot asphalt is added,” he said. “One person operates the filler machine and a second safety truck is also sent out to accompany them.”

He also said if you spot a pothole, speak up.

“We have a 1-800 number, 1-800-POTHOLE, for motorists to report potholes,” Schapiro said. “That’s one way we find out about them. Residents can also go to the DOT website, fill out a reporting form, which is quick and easy.”

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