Last year at this time New Jersey was buried under several feet of snow pack – and thousands of potholes were opening up on roads all over the Garden state.

This winter is a very different story.

Tim Greeley, a spokesman with the New Jersey Department of Transportation says thanks to very mild temperatures and hardly any snow at all, the situation is much better.

“Without that freeze and thaw cycle that really has been common in winters past” he says, “you’re bound to see less potholes…this winter has been very mild to this point.”

He says last year DOT crews filled between 140 and 150 thousand potholes, but this winter the total has been in the hundreds so far.

“Our crews are ready for whatever happens” he says ,”whatever Mother Nature throws our way, we’ll continue to respond as we normally do…we are prepared to deal with winter weather conditions should things become more severe.”

Greeley points out for any potholes that do develop – in addition to the normal “throw and go” cold patch “we’re actually supplementing our normal pothole repair operations – through the addition of 6 pothole killer machines…it’s a big advantage in that they’re able to use a hot tar emulsion which provides a much more permanent repair for these potholes…and it only takes one crew member to drive the pothole killer machine – so you don’t have a number of guys literally on the roadway.”

He adds if conditions do become more severe, “we always encourage residents and motorists – if you guys see potholes on the roads – report them to us – you can go to our website, www.nj.gov/transportation …or you can also call 1-800- pothole, and we’ll have our crews respond.”