Shortage of Road Paint Slows Highway Projects

A shortage of traffic-striping paint has threatened road construction projects around the country just as road-work season hits its peak. Now some road crews are hesitant to even go forward with road projects if the paint to complete the dividing lines is unavailable.

The Associated General Contractors of America warned state and federal transportation officials that the shortage could lead to a widespread failure to complete highway projects on their summer schedules. Meanwhile, road crews may have to sit at home at a time when the economy needs them on the job.

The lack of paint has to do with the shortage of a chemical compound called methyl methacrylate, which is partly what makes road paint long-lasting and reflective. Dow Construction Chemicals — a major producer — had production problems at its Texas plant, and other companies had scaled back their paint production because of the economic downturn.

Now paint companies are scouring the country for the chemical, while transportation officials are thinking up new strategies. These could include using reflective buttons instead of paint to divide highways or just paint the center dividing lines of two-lane roads but not the shoulders.

Traffic Paint Shortage Threatens Roadwork (New York Times)

By Stephen Markley | May 27, 2010 | Comments (4)



Was DOW somehow out-of-the-loop when the Federal government was passing all sorts of stimulus packages that included road repair????!

Someone over there at DOW is incompetent, dropped the ball and should be demoted or fired.


Hm, similar stuff to the adhesive compound for titanium knee replacements in the recent past...

I think you just need to come to Boston to borrow some. They have not repainted so many roads that they must've saved up a ton of that stuff. Of course painting the stripes back would make it a bit inconvenient for people to have to blatantly form 3 lanes of traffic in 2 lanes ... Driving on roads with mostly worn out markings in the rain or winter is even more fun!


Was DOW somehow out-of-the-loop when the Federal government was passing all sorts of stimulus packages that included road repair????!

If you are preparing to paint your car or simply considering the option the first thing you need to know about Auto paint colors is that not all colors work for all cars. If you think about cars that has been driving around town, you can probably think of some very different cars that made him think that what they were thinking about painting the car that color.

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