State blames paint shortage for lack of bids for Brown County road restriping project – Dakota Free Press
No one wants to roam the roads of Brown County:
The entrepreneurs chose to sit on the sidelines rather than compete to mark 613 miles of pavement on the South Dakota roads belonging to the counties in the Aberdeen area.
The reason was likely a temporary shortage of marking material, according to Sam Weisgram, who works for the State Department of Transportation.
He told the South Dakota Transportation Commission that the project would likely attract bids when offered a second time, but the work might not be finished until 2022. [Bob Mercer, “No Bids Received on S.D. Road Project,” KELO-TV, 2021.05.28].
Traffic Solutions Inc. of Harrisburg and Dakota Barricade LLC of Rapid City were willing to bid on 76.8 miles of strips around Stone, and even amid the scarcity of marking material, the two companies were able to bid around 6% in below the engineer’s estimate of $ 103,572. for the job, but obviously no one has the paint or the time for 613.5 miles of stripes around Aberdeen.
The lack of pavement markings does not appear to be a new problem. The road builder industry has been talking about shortages of paint, epoxy and thermoplastic last year. The pandemic has caused a slowdown in road construction activity, but it is evident that this drop in demand has been overtaken by the decrease in supply due to coronavirus closures of factories producing raw materials for marking. road. Winter weather conditions and power outages in Texas in February also froze the chemical industry and our paint supply; Bad weather in Texas in April further slowed paint production.
But in 2010, the American Traffic Safety Services Association reported a similar shortage due to the global economic downturn, the closure of a Dow Chemical plant in Texas, and competition with more profitable industries for key chemicals. An industry observer argues that the current shortage of road marking materials is a result of longer-term market forces that the paint industry has failed to respond to:
None of this news is good, and most of the problems are blamed on a combination of COVID-19, the “big freeze of 2021,” and growing consumer demand. To some extent, it is reasonable to put the current problems at the feet of these three sources of disruption, but I would say that these three sources of shortages, compounded by late deliveries; force majeure statements; sudden and rapid increases in the price of raw materials; the resulting price increases for finished products, such as paints, coatings, varnishes, stains et al., simply reduced the time frame in which our current problems arose, rather than causing them.
The writing has been on the wall for some time. Irregular oil prices during the period 2014-2020; increased consumer demand during this same period; historically low mortgage rates, which rose steadily from a high of 16 +% in 1981 to ~ 2.5% in early 2021, before rising to ~ 3% in early March, fueling a major residential housing boom ; serious problems, over the past decade, with insufficient personnel and equipment in the trucking industry, which gallop into the current decade with vengeance; an extremely high savings rate; high consumer confidence; and the list goes on, have all acted, over the past few years, on the economy to get us to where we are today.
There is no point in blaming COVID-19, the Gulf Freeze, or any other factor or set of factors. The problem is that the American industry, in general, and the paint and coatings industry, in particular, have failed to build resilience in their supply chains, and are now paying the price for their neglect. The United States is now putting an additional $ 1.9 trillion in new stimulus money into circulation at a time when many experts believe we are on the cusp of a consumer boom, which will only exacerbate the situation for the most prepared of all manufacturers and potentially wreaking havoc. wreak havoc on the least prepared raw material and finished product producers, who have failed to build sufficient resilience into their supply chain philosophies and practices [George R. Pilcher, “Paint and Coatings Raw Materials in 2021: It’s All About Resilience,” Coatings Tech, April 2021].
Anyway to solve this shortage, Brown County had better find some paint or grooved tape fast. Clear lane markings save lives.