Sydney Harbour Bridge to be repainted after 81 years

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 May, 2013, 4:01am


The Sydney Harbour Bridge is to have its biggest makeover since 1932, with a new coat of paint that will take two years to complete, the New South Wales state government said yesterday.

The bridge, which links the northern and central parts of the city and is one of the world's most recognisable symbols, will be sanded back to bare steel and repainted for the first time in its 81-year history.

"This grande dame of Sydney Harbour is getting a makeover with a high performance faderesistant paint to help her endure the punishing conditions," state Roads Minister Duncan Gay said in a statement.

Huge sections of the bridge have suffered from rust and corrosion in recent decades with some 485,000 square metres of steelwork - the equivalent of 60 football fields - needing to be painted.

"The new paint, still in that famous shade that we call 'Harbour Bridge grey', is expected to last 30 years and won't darken or change over time," Gay said.

"We need the bridge in top condition. She's always in the limelight with thousands of international and local visitors flocking to visit and enjoy events like Vivid Sydney and the New Year's Eve fireworks."

Fifty painters will carry out the work, which is expected to cost A$20 million (HK$149 million).