Orillia expecting a limited road line painting program this year due to COVID-19 and a hard-hit production line

Pandemic restrictions and heavy winter storms in the southern U.S. lead to shortage of raw materials.

You can blame the COVID-19 pandemic and severe weather for the state of road lines throughout Orillia.

Orillia City Hall announced on Tuesday it has had to delay its annual road line painting program due to a raw materials shortage. The city says COVID-19 restrictions and closures coupled with damage done to southern United States factories during heavy winter storms have impacted the production of materials used to make specialized road paint. Depending on the extent of the shortage, the city says there could be sections throughout Orillia that will go unpainted in 2021.

“This road paint supply shortage is another example of the negative effects the pandemic has had on so many different industries. On top of the pandemic, severe weather earlier this year in areas like Texas has seriously impacted supplies. City staff have been in contact with direct suppliers and unfortunately, it’s an industry-wide issue that we are dealing with,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “The City will continue to work with contractors and suppliers to complete as much line painting as possible given the circumstances. We will focus our efforts and limited supply on priority areas of the city. I’d like to thank residents for your understanding and patience as we navigate this shortage.”

The city’s contractor is anticipating just limited quantities of paint this year, while City Hall has prioritized routes with the highest vehicular traffic, such as West Street, Coldwater Road, and Atherley Road.