Ames, Iowa — Ongoing supply chain issues are trickling down to the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Every spring, the Iowa DOT goes out and re-paints the lines on the road. Typically the six districts across the state could order paint as they needed it, but last year they got a limited supply. That meant they had to divide it up among the districts and be strategic.
Crews did critical areas first such as interstates, high-traffic areas, and center lines. The problem is, DOT workers say the shortage is spilling over into this year.
Donna Matulac, assistant state maintenance engineer with the Iowa DOT, says they’ll continue to be creative to get the lines painted since it’s a safety concern.
“Without the pavement markings, people don’t know where they’re going. They don’t know what lane to stay in. They don’t know where the edge line is, they could be going off on the shoulder,” Matulac explained. “So keeping our paint lines up to date and keeping them fresh every year is very critical to the drivers.”
The Iowa DOT says they hope to see an increase in supply in the next month or two. If they run out of paint, Matulac mentioned they could narrow the road lines to make the paint last longer. However, she doesn’t think they’ll get to that point.