Why Does I-295 in Burlington County Always Look Wet (Even When It’s Dry)?
If you've driven near exits 57-60 on I-295 in New Jersey lately, you've probably noticed that several lanes on both sides of the highway have been newly repaved. You've also probable noticed that for some reason, the payment looks wet even though it hasn't rained.
By the way, this isn't the same type of "wet" that you sometimes see on the pavement when it's extremely hot outside. That, according to phsyics.stackexchange.com, is a mirage "caused by hot air near the road and less hot air above...causing the illusion of wetness."
Obviously, temperatures haven't been hot enough to cause a mirage. This is clearly different, so we decided to get to the bottom of it by asking the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Daniel Triana, a Public Information Officer for NJDOT Communications responded that the resurfacing of I-295 "consists of a slurry seal pavement mixture and a high-performance thin overlay (HPTO). HPTO asphalt commonly appears wet when first applied due to the property of the binding material it contains. In time, the sheen on the roadway surface will fade."
So, there you have it. Mystery solved!