After three Nor’easters over a 10-day period, New Jersey’s bad pothole problem has become horrible.

It seems everywhere you look, giant craters are opening up on side streets, major roads and highways.

“This weather has certainly been very, very challenging,” said Steve Schapiro, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

He noted all three storms were state-wide events and in many areas rain changed to snow, and then back to rain again before everything froze overnight.

"That takes a toll on the roads because the temperature is fluctuating. It allows that water to seep into cracks and then when it freezes it expands and then breaks up the roadways."

Schapiro said another problem here is that "a lot of the temporary repairs that we’ve made, using cold patch in the winter, don’t always hold very well and when you have such severe weather they tend to break up."

He said the change-over to hot asphalt material to fill in potholes will happen in the next couple of weeks.

"We have to wait for the asphalt plants to reopen; they typically will shut down during the winter."

Having a lot of heavy trucks on the road, plowing and picking up branches and other debris, tends to stress many roads.

Schapiro said since January, "we’ve repaired approximately 87,000 potholes. In 2017 for that same time frame we repaired approximately 62,000 potholes."

In addition to filling potholes, DOT crews also clear debris from roads, pick up garbage and fix signs and traffic lights.

The state hotline for reporting potholes on highways is 1-800-POTHOLE. Or you can fill out the pothole form on the DOT website.

Schapiro said it may take the DOT a few days to fix a reported pothole, but if the pothole is enormous and poses a serious hazard to the motoring public, emergency crews will respond within a few hours.

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