Commissioner acknowledges crews for winter efforts
Trenton, NJ – New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Jamie Fox today announced the beginning of a statewide campaign to repair potholes across New Jersey.
A challenging winter has produced extraordinarily high numbers of potholes on state highways, creating driving hazards for motorists.
“This has been a brutal winter that has taken a heavy toll on our roads, but I want to assure New Jersey residents that we will spend whatever is necessary to make repairs as quickly as possible,” Fox said. “Our crews have done a tremendous job keeping the State’s highways clear from snow and ice this winter. Now they will turn their attention to repairing potholes to ensure New Jerseys roads are in good condition.”
To deal with potholes in the most aggressive and efficient manner, the Department will be allowing crews through the state to close travel lanes where necessary during daytime hours, including during peak travel times for priority repairs.
Where possible, crews will limit their daytime work hours to 9 a.m.-3 p.m., per standard protocol, and will try to avoid working in travel lanes carrying traffic in the peak direction during peak times. However, motorists might encounter maintenance crews making priority repairs any time of the day or night during this campaign.
In addition to the Department’s usual winter pothole repair method of using cold patch material, NJDOT is using 13 state-of-the-art pothole-filling machines, which make a more durable repair than cold-patch. The pothole-filling machine, which was demonstrated today, is a truck that can heat a mix of asphalt and gravel before injecting the mixture into the pothole. These machines require just one person to operate, with another worker operating a safety truck.
“Using the pothole-filling machines allows NJDOT crews to cover a larger area more quickly and safely because the worker doesn’t have to get out of the truck,” Assistant Commissioner for Operations and Maintenance Andrew Tunnard said. “It also provides a more lasting repair, which in the long run saves time and money.”
To illustrate the severity of the pothole situation this year, NJDOT typically repairs about 180,000 potholes per year. So far in FY15 (July 1, 2014 – March 6, 2015), NJDOT has repaired more than 125,000 potholes, with the busiest pothole repair season just starting. The Department expects to repair approximately 300,000 potholes this year.
NJDOT will be using Variable Message Signs to alert motorists of the campaign and, to the extent possible, of lane closures that could result in temporary travel delays. Detailed current repair locations will be posted on a continual basis on www.511nj.org.
In addition to our crews monitoring and reporting potholes that need repair, we encourage motorists to report potholes as well. Motorists may call 1-800-POTHOLE or go online at www.nj.gov/transportation to a convenient form on our website. The Department responds quickly, especially to reports of potholes that create safety concerns based on their size and location.