🚘 New Jersey pothole repair campaign begins
🚘 NJ Department of Transportation says this pothole season has been mild
🚘 New Jersey residents encouraged to call the pothole hotline

It’s a sure sign that spring is right around the corner.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation kicks off its annual campaign to repair potholes across the Garden State this week.

DOT senior director of operations Chris Feinthel said the lack of snow and ice this winter in most of Central and South Jersey has been a blessing because of 40% fewer potholes than the past three seasons.

A more moderate freeze-thaw cycle

Because the winter has been relatively mild we’ve had less of the freeze-thaw cycle that creates potholes than normal.

“The Department has made a really concerted effort through the Transportation Trust Fund to do a lot more resurfacing, overall our pavement is in better condition throughout the state," Feinthel said.

To deal with the potholes, the DOT will allow 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 during the morning and afternoon rush.

New Jersey potholes
(Micromedia Publishing)

Variable Message Signs will be used to alert motorists of the campaign and warn them about lane closures that could result in temporary travel delays.

Feinthel said most asphalt companies are not open right now, so for the next month, until the weather really starts to warm up, crews will do temporary patch-up jobs.

See a pothole? Report it!

If you come across a significant pothole you can report it to the 1-800-POTHOLE 24-hour hotline.

“[The call] gets recorded immediately, a work ticket is created and our local maintenance crew will be informed of that location,"he said.

DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said crews work year-round to repair potholes “but at this time of year it becomes a primary focus.”

She noted over the past five years, the DOT has repaired on average about 190,000 potholes a year, but for the first nine months of this fiscal year (since last July 1) the DOT has repaired 80,000 potholes.

The DOT is asking drivers to slow down in work zones where pothole repair crews are working.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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