I'm not drunk, officer. I'm just trying to avoid all of the potholes.

Do you feel like New Jersey's roads feature more craters than usual this winter? Agencies across the Garden State say an active winter in the storm department, along with plenty of freeze-and-thaw temperature changes, resulted in more potholes compared to what drivers may have seen during the last couple of winters.

"We had over 3,200 potholes fixed so far, and more than 2,000 in February alone," said Dan O'Connell, deputy director of the Burlington County Board of Commissioners.

Burlington County checks its pothole hotline (609-265-5021) daily for tips from drivers, O'Connell said — the county maintains more than 500 miles of roads.

The seasonal hazards form when water seeps into cracks in the asphalt and then expands when it freezes. Which agency handles the patchwork depends on the type of road — local, county or state.

Year to date through March 1, approximately 60,000 potholes have been repaired on state roads, New Jersey Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Schapiro said.

NJDOT handles potholes year-round, but with its annual statewide pothole repair campaign, which launched on Wednesday, these repairs become crews' primary focus, Schapiro said.

"That means you're likely to see crews working during the daytime between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m," he said. "Always slow down and move over if you see crews working."

Schapiro said this winter's "extreme weather" will mean a busier repair season for the state. Looking at the past five fiscal years, NJDOT has repaired an average of about 196,000 potholes per year.

Motorists can dial 1-800-POTHOLE or use this form with a mapping tool to report a pothole on a state-maintained road — NJDOT does not handle the Parkway or Turnpike. Check here for a list of county hotlines for potholes on county-maintained roads.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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