Now that spring has returned to New Jersey the Department of Transportation is busy tackling pothole problems that have developed along their roadways.
Last week a crew was hard at work along the Freehold stretch of Route 33 using a machine appropriately known as the "Pothole Killer." After a winter full of freezes and thaws Garden State roads have taken a pounding and will now be fixed to make them safer for all motorists.
NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson said crews will be hard at work now that warmer weather is in the forecast. "The investments we are making in major roadway resurfacing and reconstruction projects are paying dividends in the form of improved roadway conditions," he said. "We have pushed up our roadway ratings from 50 percent in acceptable condition in 2010 to 59 percent today."
According to information provided by the DOT since July of 2012 crews have filled close to 94,000 potholes throughout the state. That number is expected to "rise significantly," the department said.
Several members of the Freehold Township administration were on hand for the demonstration last week including Mayor Barbara McMorrow who said officials at the local, county and state levels work well to battle the traffic safety hazard. "Potholes need to be fixed because we need to keep not only the residents of Freehold safe, but we need to keep all the people who travel through our township safe as well."
At least when it comes to the roads the Mayor said everyone is on the same page. "We work together very well," she said. "We don't have a high frustration level which is unusual. When it comes to potholes we truly are concerned the same because of safety."
Scott Higgins, the head of the township's Department of Public Works, said with residents able to report potholes on the township's and the state's websites crews know where they are needed most. "If there's something that needs to be done we're out there every day," he said.
Township Engineer Timothy White said his department works closely with the DPW to make sure the roads are safe. A program was developed where crews work around the town in a clockwise style movement to fix any potholes that pop up. "Between repairing potholes that are called in and the ones we know about we're taking care of the small ones so they don't become more aggressive potholes," he said.
As he watched crews fix potholes on Route 33 DOT Assistant Commissioner Rich Shaw said the work they are doing will help keep the roads safe and clean. "We are challenging ourselves this spring on two fronts — to respond and to repair every pothole that we observe or gets reported to us by the public, while also making a noticeable difference in the appearance of highways through a massive litter-removal in which every mile of state highway will be cleaned."
To report potholes on state roads check out the DOT website.
TELL US: Where in Matawan and Aberdeen have you spotted potholes?