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Paint shortage delays 91 freeway project

October 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Despite a state budget that was several months late, most Caltrans projects in Southern California are still on schedule.But in the Inland Empire, there's one project that's come to a grinding halt. Not because of money, not because of the weather, but because Caltrans District 8 ran out of paint.

"That's pretty silly that we're running out of paint," said Riverside resident Sandra Portillo. "I have paint cans at my house they can use."

It's not quite that simple.

Caltrans uses a special type of reflective paint to stripe freeways, and right now there's a nationwide shortage of that paint.

So the repaving project on the 91 freeway between McKinley Street on the east and the county line on the west is now on hold.

"The project is essentially done," said Shelli Lombardo of Caltrans. "We're waiting for the paint to finish up the striping and get the project completed."

Caltrans points to three problems:

  • First off, there's a supply problem out of China.
  • Second, there are other projects on the east coast taking priority.
  • Third, because our state budget was passed so late, Caltrans officials said they just couldn't stock up on paint the way would have liked.

"We're looking forward to getting our allotment from the budget and we're looking forward to get the paint bought so we can get the striping finished." Lombardo said.

Caltrans said it could take up to 12 weeks to acquire the paint.


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