Some Jersey drivers are complaining about the high number of road and bridge repair projects underway all over the Garden state – causing even more delays than normal – but state officials insist there’s a good reason for it.

Jersey Department of Transportation spokesman Joe Dee says you can’t pour concrete and have it set properly when temperatures dip below freezing.

He says that  Jersey is “one of the most densely populated, most densely developed areas anywhere, so when the weather permits, we’re out there making improvements, rehabilitating roads and bridges…There’s going to be jobs occurring in the warmer months of the year all over the state.”

He says, “We can’t just do one project at a time, hoping that a commuter would only have one construction zone that they’re going to hit during their daily commute -it would just be impossible to keep up with the maintenance and rehabilitation demands if we were to schedule our projects that way…Our philosophy is to take care of what we have before we do any kind of expansion work – it’s far more economical for the taxpayer to get out there and do maintenance repairs.”

Dee adds drivers should be aware that during the summer season, “We do suspend work on the weekends when it’s very heavily traveled times for people going to and from their shore destinations – and so that gives them the maximum amount of travel capacity on the highways…The Jersey shore is a wonderful place to visit and we do our best to keep those roads in great shape to make it as easy as possible to patronize the businesses and everything the Jersey shore offers…keeping roads and bridges in good condition is a big job and we’re investing more than ever before to improve the driving experience and the safety of motorists.”

He also points out there are multiple agencies that are doing construction projects.

“It’s not just DOT – the Turnpike is out there doing things, the Port Authority is building and bridges and repair roadways…We coordinate, and there are times when we delay a project or not do something on a weekend when we know it means taking a lane out of service…So we do our best to minimize the impacts to motorists, but at the same time we have to keep these projects on the move.”