Mayor Nick Sacco and Public Works Commissioner Frank Gargiulo have directed DPW Superintendent John Shaw and his department to begin an aggressive pothole repair plan starting this week. The harsh winter with heavy snowfalls and low temperatures have wreaked havoc on roads throughout the region, causing an abundance of dangerous potholes. The township has established a Pothole Repair Hotline for residents to report potholes in their neighborhood and the phone number is 201-330-7263.
“While our DPW has done a tremendous job keeping North Bergen’s streets clear and safe through the massive snowfalls we have seen this winter, the work is not done and we will now shift into an aggressive pothole repair campaign as we get closer to Spring,” said Mayor Sacco.
To aid the pothole repair plan the township has purchased a new piece of equipment called an Asphalt Cooker to greatly increase efficiency and save taxpayer money during the process. In the past approximately one third of a load of hot asphalt would be wasted as it cooled during the day while workers filled potholes. With the Asphalt Cooker, DPW workers are able to keep asphalt hot and minimize waste. The machine holds about two tons of asphalt at a time and cost about $20,000. It is expected to pay for itself this year and save the township thousands of dollars over the next several years.
“The weather this winter has been absolutely brutal and it has done a number on our roads,” said Commissioner Gargiulo. “We need help from North Bergen residents to call in to the hotline and report potholes so we can get to work filling them.”
Potholes reported to the hotline will be entered into a database and prioritized according to size, location and the amount of hazard they present. More dangerous potholes will be fixed first, however the goal is to fill all reported potholes within the next few months. The DPW will use two three-man crews to respond to pothole repair requests and all reported potholes will be tracked with residents advised when they will be filled. Potholes reported on streets that are not under North Bergen’s jurisdiction, such as state or county roads, will be reported to the appropriate agency.