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January 3, 2011

New Jersey’s Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for clearing 12,953 lane-miles during winter storms -- including all interstate, U.S. and state routes. It is primarily the clearing of state routes that has become a bone of contention for Gov. Chris Christie, as he faced criticism for taking a Florida holiday despite expectations of a severe storm. Some local mayors complained last week that the DOT was not fast enough clearing roads in their municipalities, forcing local public works departments to plow them. According to a 2005 report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, that equals approximately 2,800 miles of road, 523 miles of which are in rural parts of the state.

As for equipment, the state operates 1,204 plows and 127 spreaders. It has 671 staffers to handle storms, with another 851 trained volunteers available. In December, it had 139,000 tons of rock salt stockpiled, which was treated with the 547,898 gallons of liquid calcium it had on hand.

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