🚘 NJ ranks at No. 8 among the states for worst pothole problems

🚘 A milder winter typically leads to fewer potholes

🚘 NJDOT only handles state-maintained roads

So far this year, about 120,000 potholes have been filled on state roads and interstate highways in New Jersey.

Garden State drivers should actually be happy with that number. By mid-November of last year, the repair count for 2022 was higher than 285,000.

"Last winter, we had one of the mildest winters on record, and we saw that in the condition of our roads," said Steve Schapiro, press manager for the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

With milder temperatures, water that had seeped into the cracks of the asphalt didn't have as many opportunities to freeze and expand.

New Jersey is far from being the worst state in the nation for "pothole problems," according to rankings by USA Today Blueprint. Based on an analysis of online searches from January 2020 to October 2023, New Jersey is tied at No. 8 with Maryland.

Washington, Minnesota, and Michigan ranked as the states with the most pothole problems.

NJDOT's constant goal is to have at least 80% of roads in "good or fair condition," meaning they're not in any need of repairs. Today, 81% of New Jersey's roads meet that mark, Schapiro said. In 2008, that figure was 47%.

How to report a pothole in New Jersey

NJDOT crews can repair potholes at any point during the year, but their most active repair season is the spring, as the state thaws out from winter.

Crews do their own monitoring of NJDOT-maintained roads for craters that need filling, but a lot of their leads come from motorists.

An interactive map on the NJDOT website lets you drop a pin right where you saw the problem.

Reports can also be made by dialing 1-800-POTHOLE. When reporting an issue, you want to know the name of the road, the direction of travel (east or west, for example), and the nearest mile marker or cross street.

"Once a complaint comes in, even just from one person, it'll get entered into the system and our crews will go out and investigate as part of their regular routine," Schapiro said.

If there's a problem on a county road and not one maintained by the state, you can report it by contacting the appropriate pothole hotline. New Jersey also does not handle the Atlantic City Expressway, Garden State Parkway, or New Jersey Turnpike.

New Jersey also gives motorists the chance to file a claim to be reimbursed for damage caused by a pothole on a state-maintained road. It's the claimants duty to prove that NJDOT was aware of the issue and failed to address it.

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