TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – It’s pothole season in New Jersey, as state transportation department crews have launched their annual push to fill the holes that show up in roads across the state each spring.
State Department of Transportation Assistant Commissioner Richard Shaw said they expect to fill just over 200,000 potholes this season running until the beginning of June.
“They can become small craters. We try to get to them before they get to that point,” Shaw told WCBS 880′s Levon Putney.
DOT workers fill potholes year-round, but spring is the time when many potholes form due to temperature fluctuations above and below the freezing mark.
Water seeps into pavement cracks and expands when it freezes. The expansion deepens the crack and weakens the pavement, leading to a pothole.
“You would think with everything going on in the world that potholes are not that important but they are because it’s such a safety issue,” Freehold Township Mayor Barbara McMurrow told Putney. “We get it fixed as soon as possible.”
The town’s public works crews are already out making the needed repairs.
“If we see something that they can’t get to right away, we’ll take care of it,” Freehold Township Director of Public Works Scott Higgins said. “We’ll do on the average 400 to 500 potholes a year.”
On the state level, crews rolled out their one-man vehicle nicknamed the ‘pothole killer.’ The truck sprays tar and gravel to fill in the holes.
“The technical term is spray injection patching,” Shaw said.
Shaw said the machine uses less manpower and the patches last up to five years.
Officials say major roadway rehabilitation investments in recent years on heavily traveled roads such as Interstates 295, 78, 80 and 287 have helped limit the number of potholes.
Potholes can create safety hazards and can damage vehicles, so motorists are urged to report any pothole they observe on a state or interstate highway.
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