Rooney bill addresses pothole hell for N.J. drivers

Rooney bill addresses pothole hell for N.J. drivers

Kevin J. Rooney

TRENTON, N.J. – It isn’t always smooth riding on the roads of the Garden State. Potholes can seem to pop-up out of nowhere, damaging vehicles, delaying commuters, and costing drivers for expensive repairs.

Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney has introduced legislation requiring the Transportation Department to make pothole repairs a priority and include details in an annual report.

“It is clear that the Department of Transportation needs more legislative and public oversight to do basic roadway maintenance,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “If Murphy’s Department of Transportation focused as much attention on maintaining our roadways as they did with salting in the rain, this problem would be nonexistent. The Governor was handed a fully funded Transportation Trust Fund and yet his administration cannot do the basic maintenance to protect our drivers.”

Under Rooney’s bill (A5328), the DOT must track the number and cost of repair projects. It must also track response times for emergency repairs and the number of damage claims. The information will be included in an annual report and made available on the department’s website.

“It’s not enough to just send trucks out to patch the road,” Rooney noted. “We need to know the extent of the problem, and the cost of temporary fixes or more permanent solutions. This data will help develop a long-term strategy for more reliable roadways.”

Currently, the department is required to deliver an annual report on New Jersey’s roadway pavement system to the governor and Legislature. The last report was published in 2016.