The state transportation department is running so low on paint that it has had to tell some of its road painting crews to stay off the road.

A fire at a chemical plant in Texas has limited production of a resin used in making paint used by highway crews throughout the nation. The Ennis Paint Company of Hannibal, which supplies paint for nine of the Transportation Department’s ten districts, told the department about six weeks ago it couldn’t make enough paint to meet needs. The other district gets its paint from Sherwin-Williams, and it’s in the same situation.

Traffic liaison engineer Jim Brocksmith says this is the prime time of year for crews to paint lines on the roads…but some districts have shut down routine striping.

He says the department is striping any area where new pavement has been put down or where surface work has obliterated the regular stripe. He says districts have been holding back paint to make sure they have enough for the new pavement work.

The department usually buys about 1.5 million gallons of paint each year and puts down about 80,000 miles of lines.

Brocksmith says suppliers are saying paint supplies should be back to normal by August or September. He hopes there’s enough time to get all of the striping done.

Bob Priddy interviews Jim Brocksmith 12:15 mp3