Painting persistence seems to be the only way to combat new regulations on the streets around Stephenville. An issue about street markings was brought to the table of the Stephenville town council last week with Deputy Mayor Mike Tobin taking calls about quickly fading lines.
He defended the company doing the work, Precision Enterprises, and noted that the problem came about because of a change in regulations that resulted in a switch from oil-based paint to the more environmentally friendly latex-based paint.
The problem is not a local one as all around the province there have been issues with the new paint, from the highways to parking lots, due to restrictions placed on its application and it not having the durability of the oil-based paint.
Add to that the lines being sprayed in the same spot where the oil-based paint has been sprayed for years and for anyone who has tried to paint latex over oil, they will know adhesion becomes a problem.
Then there’s the salt residue on the roads from the winter spread. While it looks it’s all gone at this time a year, a heavy rainfall reveals there is still lots there when you see soapy looking water floating on the pavement.
All these factors combine to make the latex paint fade quicker and it’s something that was quickly noticed by community residents.
The complaints were genuine because taxpayers are concerned where there dollars are going and they were right to express their opinions.
In this instance it wasn’t the fault of the contractor, as the company actually went back and repainted some of the lines, wondering itself what had happened when the fading that would normally take months occurred in weeks.
Like anything, when it comes to change it sometimes take time, patience and trial and error to adjust and figure out what works best. No doubt, the science for this paint will get better as time goes on and more durable latex road paint will be made.
As for the taxpayers complaining, they should continue to do that when they see something they think is not right.
It keeps the elected officials on their toes when there are watchdogs out there.