Shortage of Paint Causing Some Road Project Delays

A shortage of material used in the production of pavement marking materials is causing a delay of some road work.

In light of the shortage AGC of America last week contacted the Federal Highway Administration urging them to work with state DOTs to develop a contingency plan to ensure that critical highway construction projects can move forward to completion safely including final stripping and to ensure that there are no negative ramifications for contractors subcontractors or suppliers for events that are out of their control.

“Some of our chapters and contractors have been meeting with their DOTs to discuss a variety of remedies that may provide at least temporary relief including extension of contract deadlines change orders prioritizing stripping requirements and easing up on MUTCD specifications for pavement markings at least temporarily until this shortage is resolved” said Brian Deery Senior Director of AGC of America’s Highway and Transportation Division.

Dow Chemical Co. which manufacturers the feed stocks for some of the pavement marking material and several of the major paint and marking material suppliers has taken the dramatic step of protecting their interests by claiming a “force majeur” exemption to relieve themselves of liability under their contracts for failure to meet contract requirements.

In a letter to its customers Dow explains: “(D)ue to circumstances beyond our reasonable control The Dow Chemical Company has declared force majeure for Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) manufactured at Deer Park Texas. Since January we have experienced a number of unplanned repairs and unexpected mechanical failures including more recently plugging in our crude MMA production unit. These unplanned situations have caused significant MMA production rate decreases since January. The plugging recently increased dramatically causing us to take down the affected crude MMA units immediately for cleaning and repairs.”

In turn Ennis Traffic Safety Solutions told its customers in a letter: “Dow Chemical advised us in late April right before our last price announcement that our monthly allocation would be cut between 15% and 20%. We have been operating under that assumption here for the last couple of weeks. This morning the realities of this increased tightening has resulted in another reduced allocation of 22% less product here in the month of May. Please keep in mind this is 22% from the already reduced volume.”