Sydney, Jan. 30 (ANI): Despite its reputation for being privy to a relentless paint job, Australia's legendary Sydney Harbour Bridge is rusting.
Australia's Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) has admitted that large sections of the bridge - that raised 84.785 million dollars in toll revenue in 2009 - needs a fresh paint job.
"There is some flaking and minor surface rusting on the northwestern side of the bridge, where paint has broken down due to environmental exposure," the Daily Telegraph quoted a RTA spokesman, as saying.
Although the bridge's safety and integrity are not at risk, a section of the 503m arch span overlooking Sydney's popular amusement park, Luna Park, needs a makeover, the RTA said.
The government said it spends about 15 million dollars a year on routine maintenance of the 485,000sq m of steelwork alone, and it takes 30,000 litres of paint for just one coat of the Harbour Bridge.
"Surface rusting is expected in the normal life cycle of painted steel bridges in harsh marine environments. Regular repainting is an essential and ongoing part of the Sydney Harbour Bridge maintenance program," the RTA spokesman said.
Industry experts have blasted the Government for failing to properly maintain the Harbour Bridge.
"I suppose it is just another indication of the lack of infrastructure spending in this state. If we can't get something as simple as the Harbour Bridge right, how are we going to get other projects right," New South Wales Civil Contractors Federation boss David Elliott said.
Opposition roads spokesman Andrew Stoner said taxpayers deserved better than this.
"Millions of dollars are spent on fireworks each year to showcase the Bridge, but misguided priorities from State Labor means Sydney's much-loved coathanger has gone without," he said.
The bridge is maintained by a team of almost 100 RTA workers, most at the site full-time. (ANI)