We don't know how much road construction your area is being subjected to, but we're up to our necks in orange barrels and portable cement barriers. Apparently the government stimulus funds have converged onto our highways and boulevards in one summer, but a report by The New York Times shows that one key element could throw a wrench in the plans to overhaul our nation's infrastructure. It's not concrete or even heavy machinery. We're talking about the paint used to stripe the roads.

Yellow lines, white lines and dashes of both colors could be tough to come by due to a sudden shortage of a chemical compound called methyl methacrylate. The Associated General Contractors of America reportedly told federal transportation officials last week that the sudden scarcity of the paint has "very significant ramifications for completion of highway projects this summer."

Dow Construction Chemical is reportedly running into production problems this year and other chemical companies have cut back on making the striping paint due to the slow economy. Some states, including Texas, Washington and Ohio may be perilously running out of the paint just as the construction season starts to heat up, which could make already annoying traffic delays last even longer.

Among the short-term solutions being noodled are using more of the raised reflective buttons in place of the stripes and only painting the center lines and not the shoulder lines. Either way, this won't make construction season any easier.

[Source: The New York Times via Transport Gooru]


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