Province to use more durable, reflective paint for highway lines

The Ministry of Transportation announced Tuesday they will be repainting many highway lines across the province with a "more durable and longer-lasting" paint.

In a statement, the ministry says the new paint is applied thicker and has tested well on highways that undergo daily and rigorous maintenance. Glass bead can also be added to the paint for more reflectivity.

"Our ministry's first priority is to ensure that our highways and roads are as safe as possible," Minister Todd Stone is quoted as having said.

"Ministry staff have been working diligently to find a durable paint that can stand up to B.C.'s tough winters."

The ministry said $1 million will be spent applying the paint and glass bead on busy highways, like highway 1, 3, 5, 14, 16 and 97.

Quesnel City Councillor Ron Paull has been campaigning for about a year to get the province to switch to a longer-lasting, more visible paint.

In 2010, the use of oil-based paints on the roads was banned because of environmental concerns, but replacement paints wore off more quickly.

Paull said he was pleased with Tuesday's announcement.

"Very, very happy that they've found a durable paint, and even more happy that this more durable paint will have the glass beads," he said. "It's good news all around."

The province said contractors repaint over 30,000 kilometres of highway lines each year at an annual cost of over $13 million.

With files from CBC Radio One's Radio West