Another Alaska community puzzled by state’s road painting
PETERSBURG, Alaska (AP) — Petersburg drivers are complaining that the state’s new system for painting street lanes has smeared paint across roadways and stained vehicles.
It comes a month after a new paint job left officials in Ketchikan baffled.
Petersburg Borough assembly member and former city Mayor Jeff Meucci said he had yellow paint on his vehicle’s mirror, running board and bumper — similar to what happened to Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor David Landis, KFSK-FM reported .
Meucci said it looks like the crews had a hard time driving in a straight line while painting Mitkof Highway. Landis said last month that Ketchikan’s paint job “looks almost like someone was playing a joke.”
Meucci said he stopped at a neighbor’s house as she tried to scrub the paint off her car.
“I hope DOT is a little proactive, other than telling to get out there and seeing what your manufacturer suggests. ... It’s tough.”
The Department of Transportation acknowledged that the paint is taking a long time to dry. Lance Mearig, the department’s south coast director, apologized.
“We have been testing a new painting system, both equipment and doing the work ourselves instead of using contract painters,” Mearig said. “So it is the same equipment and materials that we used in Ketchikan.”
The paint is designed to dry during low temperatures, but that’s not happening, he said.
“It is the first time we’ve used it in Southeast Alaska this year,” Mearig said. “We’ve had more success in summer and as we’ve pushed painting into the fall, we’re not sure why, but it’s certainly not drying as fast as the manufacturer’s literature would have led us to believe.”
The state is scheduled to paint Juneau’s roads next but might use a different paint, Mearig said.
The paint problems come after the state fielded claims in Petersburg this summer over new chip sealing on state roads that led to cracked windshields and chipped vehicle paint.
Information from: KFSK-FM, http://www.alaska.net/~kfsk/