SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (WCBS 880/AP) — A new “clean up” campaign is aiming to improve highways in the Garden State.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Levon Putney
Transportation Department maintenance teams will concentrate on ridding New Jersey’s highways of litter, graffiti and overgrown vegetation.

DOT Commissioner James Simpson announced the “Clean Up NJ” initiative along Interstate 78 in Springfield on Monday, noting that the state has received many complaints over the years.

Simpson says well-maintained roadways send a signal that New Jersey is serious about attracting and retaining businesses and jobs.

“It’s a terrible situation,” he said, “Where you have a state that’s called the ‘Garden State’ that’s got litter and graffiti around.”

There are approximately 420 DOT maintenance workers statewide, divided into 62 crews.

The DOT says crews have already picked up 170 tons of litter, painted over 30,660 square yards of graffiti and mowed 1,330 acres of tall grass.

The next week-long effort will take place this fall.

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