Lane Lines Still Several Weeks Away
Prince George, B.C. – According to a report to City Council, road lane markings may not start until the first of June in Prince George.
In a report that will be received by Council at Monday’s regular meeting, General Manager of Public Works, Dave Dyer, lays out the details on the pavement marking procedures.
First step is the removal of all the grit that was put in place over the winter. “Street sweeping of paintable roadways needs to be complete to ensure a successful paint bond with the existing asphalt” reads the report. Then crews have to lay out a guide for the contractor to follow.
Temperature plays a role in the work, as the report notes the “ambient air temperature needs to be 10 Celsius” in order for the paint to dry quickly. The report also says there needs to be lots of daylight in the early morning hours so the work can be done without endangering the workers during times of peak traffic volumes.
There are two contracts for the work, one is for the hand painting of pedestrian crosswalks, stop bars and directional arrows. There are more than 1600 hand painting areas. The other contract is for lineal painting for lane markings. There are nearly 460 kms of lineal markings to be done this year.
Yellowhead Pavement Markings holds both contracts, taking over the work following a substandard job last year by two other contractors.
Then there is the issue of the type of paint that is used. Environment Canada restricts the type of paint that can be used on seasonal road marking paint ( applied between May 1st and Oct 15th) and Prince George falls under that classification. The problem is the type of paint allowed doesn’t hold up in high traffic areas.
The Ministry of Transportation has been testing some other paints, having laid out some strips on Highway 97 between Sintich Road and the Old Cariboo Highway. Results of that test showing which allowable mix stood up to traffic volumes and weather conditions, are not yet available.
The City’s Public works Department will be conducting an experiment of its own, putting down a second layer of paint this fall, on 15th Avenue from Foothills to Highway 97 . If it turns out that a second painting can last the winter, staff will look at the costs involved in making it an annual event.