A hiccup is all it takes to paint a crooked line on a street.
In response to complaints about the striping recently painted on city streets, city of Cleveland Signs and Markings supervisor Larry Bryant said it is not as easy as it looks to paint street markings.
“Everybody makes mistakes,” he said Friday morning. “Even the largest, most experienced companies make mistakes.”
The City Council awarded the street striping contract March 26 to American Stripers of Columbia. The company submitted the lowest bid of .0568 cents per linear foot for a total bid of $56,459.20 to put down 994,000 feet, or about 190 miles of striping.
The contract did not include state roads such as Ocoee, 25th or Inman streets for which the Tennessee Department of Transportation is responsible.
The other three bids came from three Knoxville companies that have all been successful bidders in the past: Highway Markings and Volunteer Highway Supply Inc., each bid .057 cents per linear foot or $56,658; and Superior Pavement came in at .10 cents per foot or $99,400.
“We’re bound to select the lowest qualified bidder,” Bryant said.
Overall, the signs and markings supervisor is satisfied with the company’s performance and would use the company again in the future.
American Striping has all of the proper credentials. The company is approved by the Tennessee Department of Transportation and has a valid Tennessee contractor’s license. The company had new equipment and plenty of cones.
“I called four municipal governments who gave them a good report,” he said. “They were real courteous and sincere. They might have been a little inexperienced for a job this size.”
“They made a few zigzags but there were also some tracking where people drove through it,” he said. “Most of the mistakes were from tracking. There were a few quick starts and overruns, but all companies make mistakes.”
Paint is applied over a period of five nights at the speed of 12 mph between the hours of 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. to avoid as much traffic as possible. City employees monitor progress, but do not supervise the contractor.
“There are about three places we will buff out and repaint,” he said. “Tracking will take care of itself with time and traffic.”
The city alternates annually between painting and thermoplastic street markings. Thermoplastic markings will be laid in 2014.