Budget-busting potholes pop up across New Jersey in record numbers
WOODBRIDGE - This year's unrelenting winter is taking its toll on roads and highways, creating dangerous conditions across the state.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation says it filled more than twice as many potholes this January than last year. In January 2013, the agency filled 12,236 potholes. This year, it filled 25,636.
In Woodbridge, officials say those repairs are taking a big bite out of the budget. Mayor John McCormac estimates pothole fixes are costing the township five times what it did last year.
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"It's taken a lot of resources and a lot of manpower," says McCormac. "Right now, every department besides sanitation is on full-time pothole repair."
The mayor says the township is responsible for roughly 300 miles of streets and is relying on citizens to call the pothole hotline to report the worst holes in the road.
Plowing and salting the roads this winter has already thrown the budget completely out of whack, and potholes opening up far sooner than usual does not help.
"The budget is shot," McCormac says. "The budget is $675,000 every year...We spent $400,000 alone in salt, and $1.25 million overall between salaries and salt. We've gone through the budget and we'll probably double it by the time we're done."