Our Opinion: ‘Wet Paint’

Winter plowing yields to spring striping on roadways

Although winter appears reluctant to relax its grip on Central Missouri, spring highway striping is scheduled to begin Monday.

We call attention to these operations for two reasons.

First, motorists are encouraged to be attentive and patient when following these paint-striping convoys.

And, second, if paint is spattered on vehicles, it can be removed if hosed off as quickly as possible.

A sign of spring is increased roadway maintenance and construction.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) announced work crews next week will begin working 10-hour days, Monday through Saturday, to repaint the yellow and white stripes on state-maintained roads.

Striping operations are considered work zones, according to David Silvester, MoDOT’s Central District engineer, who added they are like any other maintenance or construction project, only mobile. During striping season, motorists can expect to encounter slow-moving convoys of trucks with flashing lights, boards with flashing arrows and signs that say “Wet Paint.”

Silvester emphasized the need for safety, but said crews will attempt to accommodate motorists. On two-lane highways, he said convoys will pull out of the way when possible to allow congestion to clear. On four-lane highways, motorists may pass the striping convoy by carefully merging into the open lane.

To avoid driving through wet paint and risking paint spatter on vehicles, Silvester advised motorists:

• Remain behind the last truck in the striping convoy. The last truck is placed well behind the striping truck. This will give the new paint the few minutes it needs to dry and keep you from tracking fresh paint across the lanes and damaging the new stripes. It also will prevent paint from getting onto your vehicle.

• If you drive through wet paint, which is water-based, clean your car as quickly as possible with a high-powered water hose such as those used in car washes.

Additional information about roadway striping or other transportation information can be obtained by calling 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or visiting www.modot.org/central.

The familiar presence of winter snow plowing will transition to spring highway striping. Give the MoDOT convoys a wide berth and avoid tracking in the wet paint.

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