A national materials shortage means some fading road striping in Maine won’t get a touch-up this year.

The Maine Department of Transportation will not repaint the center and shoulder lines on many low-priority roads because the department does not have enough paint and does not know when it will get more, it said Thursday in a news release.

A winter storm in February knocked out power in Texas for days and interrupted a chemical plant that makes a critical ingredient for the paint used by transportation departments around the country, leading to the shortage.

Maine received about 24,750 gallons of yellow striping paint and 16,500 gallons of white striping paint for 2021, less than half what it received in 2020.

“This is a unique challenge, and there’s no way of knowing when our paint supplies are going to return to normal levels,” said Brian Burne, a highway maintenance engineer at Maine DOT, in a statement.

The department intends to use its paint stockpiles on interstate highways, high-priority roads and new roads. Less-traveled roads will likely not get repainted this season.

“We want to make sure members of the traveling public are aware of this situation and understand why some Maine roads will not receive new paint this year,” Burne said.


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