No line painting this year: Highways

  • Jul. 30, 2012 8:00 a.m.

The islands will have to wait a little longer for new highway lines.Cindy Cousins of the Ministry of Transportation acknowledged that the lines are worn in places, saying the wear is primarily due to vehicles crossing the centerline. “The ministry is reviewing the line marking condition on Haida Gwaii,” she said, “and is currently working with the local maintenance contractor (O’Brien Road and Bridge) to install temporary line markings where necessary.”Islanders who thought the lines had faded unusually quickly might not be wrong. Ms Cousins explained that “recent changes in federal environmental regulations have banned the use of the more resilient acrylic paint products we have used in the past. While the new, approved latex paints are better for the environment, lines painted with these products tend to have reduced durability on highways that experience heavy traffic and extreme winter weather.”The ministry has recently increased the amount of reflective material in the paint and is testing new technologies to improve adherence and stay more visible, including thermo-plastic road markings, she said. The lines on Haida Gwaii are scheduled to be marked every two years and Ms Cousins said they will be repainted as early as possible in 2013, weather permitting.