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Essex County Opens Pothole Hotline
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced that a telephone hotline and an online service request form are available for residents to report the location of potholes on county roadways. The public can share information about where potholes are located by calling 973-239-3366, Ext. 2220 or the main Public Works Office at 973-226-8500, Ext. 0. They may also complete the online service request form.
“Residents and motorists rely on our network of county roads to travel to work, school and move about their daily lives. There is no question that the horrendous weather this winter has taken its toll on the pavement and created challenging driving conditions for everyone,” DiVincenzo said. “While we have had pothole repair crews and roadway inspectors out every day, residents can help us identify areas that they believe are in need of relief by calling or going online. The problem of potholes will continue, but we will continue to make sure our roadways are safe and meet the driving needs of the public,” he added.
When leaving a message on the hotline or sending a message online, the public is asked to provide the nearest street address or the nearest cross street where the pothole is located. This will help road repair crews to find the potholes more easily.
This winter, from November 2013 to February 2014, the Essex County Department of Public has responded to 20 storms and more than 55 inches of snow has fallen in Essex County. After plowing snow after every storm, DPW employees transition into pothole repair crews and have filled over 15,000 potholes during the four winter months. Essex County maintains about 215 miles or roads.
Sun, heat, and vehicle loads can break down roads, but the biggest enemy of a road is water. When water gets underneath the pavement, the road becomes weaker. Water can seep under pavement through cracks or from the side of the road. Over time, the water can cause the material under the pavement to erode, causing the pavement to sink down and break. During the winter, the water under the pavement freezes, then thaws (contracting and expanding). This freeze/thaw cycle can cause the pavement to crack. Once cracked, the pavement deteriorates quickly under the weight of traffic and streets can seem to break out in potholes overnight.
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