Last week it was well below zero in the Garden state, colder than even the Arctic. But for the past several days we’ve had temps up in the 40s through 60s.

The result has been a big new crop of potholes opening up on roadways across the Garden State.

“Conditions like we’re seeing with the great swings in temperatures, that creates difficult conditions for our roadways. Basically that freeze-thaw cycle is really how potholes get created,” said Steve Schapiro, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

He noted at this time of year only the cold patch “throw and go” material can be used, not the more permanent hot asphalt.

“Pothole repair is something that our highway operation technicians do year-round, so it is something that we are working on.”

Schapiro said constantly fixing potholes is not cheap.

“It really can range from year to year because of the different conditions, but on average we spend a little bit more than $2 million a year.”

He said on state and interstate roadways, DOT crews fill about 200,000 potholes every year. Since last July, “we’ve repaired approximately 86,000 potholes at a cost of approximately $820,000.”

He noted at this same time last year the DOT had already filled about 100,000 potholes, but as conditions change, so too will the pothole repair total.

Schapiro explained if your car is damaged because of a pothole on a state road you can file a claim with the Treasury Department. Click here for the webpage.

To report a pothole you can call 1-800-POTHOLE.

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