New Jersey: The Pothole State? [AUDIO]
Many roads in New Jersey look like the surface of the moon these days, because there are so many potholes.
The problem has been a lot worse than normal this winter, because we've had so much snow, and the freeze-thaw cycle has been more dramatic than usual.
Some Garden State towns have reported problems finding sufficient supplies of asphalt, but the state Department of Transportation reports it has plenty of it on hand to get the job done. The only problem is there are so many roads that need to be fixed.
According to DOT spokesman Steve Schapiro, about 100,000 potholes have been patched since the middle of October.
"Typically in a year we'll repair anywhere from 150,000 to 170,000 potholes for a full 12 months," he said.
He said because hot asphalt usually cannot be used in very cold temperatures, they use a different substance to repair the potholes on New Jersey roads.
"In the winter, we typically use a cold-patch material, which is more temporary and oftentimes requires being refilled a couple of times during the winter," Schapiro said.
When the weather is mild enough, pothole filling machines are used to inject a mix of asphalt and gravel into a crater and create a more durable patch.
So, how much is all of this going to cost?
Schapiro said typically the department will spend about $2 million a year on pothole repair, but this year that figure could skyrocket to as much as $3 million or more, because there are so many potholes everywhere.
"If you want to report a pothole, call 1-800-POTHOLE," he said. "You can call and report what road you're on, as best you can. Give a mile marker or a cross street for reference, it's very helpful."
You can also report a pothole on the NJ.gov/transportation website, by clicking on the "Maintenance Reporting" tab.
Join the NJ 101.5 Pothole Patrol and tell us where the worst potholes in NJ are located.