Fewer Potholes, Less Road Worry Are Goals of New Township Hotline
Potholes are almost as abundant as black ice these days, and while there is nothing good coming out of the driving conditions created by the harsh weather in the region this winter, drivers in Princeton Township may reap some benefit out of making a simple phone call.
A new hotline set up by the Princeton Township Department of Public Works has been put in place to ameliorate the area's weather-beaten roads. The hotline has been established to identify and repair holes within 48 hours, weather permitting. While the repair is a "quick-fix" that will have to be inspected again when the perennial spring road repair work comes around, this is the next best thing according to Township officials.
"Because of the severe temperatures and the ice and salt that were put down, the roads suffered," according to Janet Pellichero of the Public Works Department.
She said that when roads melt and refreeze, "the smallest things can cause potholes, and the roads just go from bad to worse in no time."
Potholes develop when moisture from rain or melting snow penetrates the road surface and then freezes, subsequently cracking the pavement. Public Works will respond by filling in the holes with a "temporary patch" that will be replaced in the spring, after blacktop plants reopen, with a permanent patching material, Ms. Pellichero said.
The hotline can be reached at (609) 688-2566, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Last summer, Princeton Township roads underwent significant construction, with several projects expected to span several seasons.
Township Engineer Robert Kiser said that municipal officials had slated approximately $6.5 million in road construction projects throughout the 2003 summer months.
The hotline will prove to be a step in the right direction, according to Ms. Pellichero. Municipalities throughout the entire region have been dogged by lowered amounts of snow salt.
"We've been getting small amounts of salt, but not what we're used to getting," she said.
The problem began several weeks ago. International Salt Company, which is the largest supplier of road salt in the region had sent two ships up the Delaware River to Falls, Pa., but was obstructed by frozen waterways in that area, delaying its February 4 arrival time. The shipment carried approximately 45,000 tons of salt.
However, the Department of Public Works portends that with the slightly warmer weather and the advent of the hotline, drivers will experience a reprieve.
"We can attend to the potholes and get them patched in a timely manner, and [drivers] don't have to worry about them again," she said. "We are thinking spring."