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2 Cities Face Road Paint Challenges

Monday, October 12, 2015

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While road markings are intended to clearly mark the way for drivers while getting from point A to point B, the striping work done recently in two towns has led to head-shaking rather than peace of mind for the areas’ drivers.

Vancouver’s Double Vision

The striping done on some of Vancouver’s city streets didn’t stick to the intended lines, station KATU reported Thursday (Oct. 8). City residents are asking for the lines to be repainted, as the paint has spread across the road surface.


Officials in Vancouver suspect the new latex paint the city is using for road striping may be behind the spreading lane markings, which is irking its residents.

Speculation as to the cause ranges from drivers crossing over the paint and spreading it in their tire tracks, to the road crews using too much paint, or even trying to repaint, the new lines.

Another theory is that the new environmentally friendly latex paint the city adopted doesn’t dry as fast as the oil-based paint they formally used.

That switch saved the city about $40,000 a year, the news channel reported.

But the man in charge of the city’s striping, Ryan Miles, told the station taxpayers don’t have to worry about paying more for a re-do of the job because it’s not worth it to clean up. He indicated that if it were causing a road hazard, they would clean it up, but in this case, they will allow the paint to wear away over time.

Cape Town Fadeout

In Cape Town, South Africa, residents are dealing with the opposite problem: road paints that aren’t visible enough.

There, officials noticed that road and line markings were fading more quickly in some areas of the city than in others over the course of a year and a half, IOL reported last month.

The city, which has spent R42 million (US $3.15 million) in the past fiscal year on road markings, expected the line coatings to last at least two years.

The city’s mayoral committee member for transport, Brett Herron, issued a statement indicating that the SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) would be embarking on a two-part investigation into the situation.

Inspectors would assess the quality of paint used by the striping contractors and the transport road depots, as well as the impact application techniques, environmental influence and traffic volume might have on longevity.

“The resistance to traffic wear test, which is a requirement of the SABS specification, will take place over the next few months where the wear will be examined every 90 days after the lines and markings have been painted,” Herron said.

“The SABS will also investigate the other aspects of the SABS specification, such as storage environment, viscosity, the manner of application (machine, brush, or roller), the colour, resistance to sagging, drying time, resistance to abrasion and the paint’s skid resistance and retro reflectivity,” he added.

While contractors are required to use SABS-approved paints, and the supplied products were SABS-compliant, investigators will also undertake site sampling tests to determine whether the paints had been diluted or otherwise tampered with.

Once officials understand why some road markings are fading more rapidly than others, they will be able to take the necessary measures to avoid these problems in the future.

“We can improve the safety on our roads with good quality line markings and road signage that are visible, in particular at night and in inclement weather,” Herron said.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Coating failure; Coating inspection; Coating Materials; Coatings; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Infrastructure; Latin America; North America; Quality control; Roads/Highways; Stripe coating; Striping

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (10/12/2015, 9:04 AM)

Variation in dry time and durability of different waterborne (latex) road markings is tremendous. The comparison against oil based striping is not really useful. The best waterborne are better than the typical oil based. The worst waterborne are much worse than the typical oil based.

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