NJDOT annual statewide pothole repair campaign begins

TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti announced that the annual statewide campaign to repair potholes across New Jersey began Monday, Feb. 28.

This winter has seen continually fluctuating temperatures above and below freezing, as well as some major storms early in the season that brought significant snow and ice. The weather has taken a toll on state highways, resulting in a significant amount of potholes, which are created by water seeping into cracks in the asphalt and then expanding when it freezes.

“The New Jersey Department of Transportation is beginning our annual pothole campaign on Monday, Feb. 28, and will continue for the next couple of months until we have repaired the most significant potholes from this winter,” Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “NJDOT crews work year-round to repair potholes and keep our highways in good condition, but at this time of year it becomes a primary focus.” 

To deal with potholes in the most aggressive and efficient manner, the department will be allowing 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 peak times. 

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

As the weather warms up and asphalt plants reopen, NJDOT crews will start to perform permanent patch operations on particularly problematic sections of roadway. This is more extensive work that includes milling and paving a small area of the road, and generally will be done overnight.

In the past five fiscal years, NJDOT has repaired an average of 183,500 potholes per year. So far in fiscal year 2022, NJDOT has repaired about 87,500 potholes, with the busiest pothole repair season just starting.

It is important to slow down in work zones so NJDOT crews can safely make repairs. New Jersey’s Move Over Law requires motorists to move over if it is safe to do so when they approach an emergency or service vehicle stopped on the side of the road. If you cannot safely move over, at least slow down.

In addition to NJDOT crews monitoring and reporting potholes that need repair on state highways, motorists are encouraged to report potholes as well. Motorists may call 1-800-768-4653 or go online to report potholes on state roads using a new mapping feature to help identify the exact location of the pothole.