Thunder Bay road line painting gets slow start

Mother nature is not co-operating with Thunder Bay's roads division as it re-paints the lines on city streets.
After Thunder Bay's long winter, city road crews are finally repainting the lines that have faded. A city official says the continuing cool, wet weather has slowed their progress. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)

Mother nature is not co-operating with Thunder Bay's roads division as it re-paints the lines on city streets.

Acting roads manager Brian Krall said the paint can only be applied in warm, dry weather.

Painting crews are behind where they would normally be at this time of year, he said.

"It’s cooler and damper than usual, plus there’s been a lot of rain-out days where we can’t paint at all. It's a little frustrating, but I think we're making fairly good progress. It's just going to take a little longer."

If the paint is applied when it’s too cold or damp, the paint takes longer to adhere and dry, meaning when vehicles run over it, it smears, Krall said.

"It's really a messy-looking condition that we try and avoid as much as possible. Of course, sometimes there's no way of avoiding it. It happens, but we try to minimize that from happening."

In areas where the paint has worn off completely, road crews have to wait for the engineering division to re-mark lines before they can re-paint, Krall noted.

He also said crews avoid painting main arteries during the day due to the concerns over traffic disruption, but "that doesn't [mean] that we don't do it. Sometimes, just to catch up, we might have to paint during the day. But we take extra caution there."

Krall said crews have also started sweeping and painting later this year due to the longer Thunder Bay winter.

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