The road surface on the Sydney harbour bridge will be replaced next year for the first time since its opening in 1932.
The New South Wales state government says the work means the bridge will be closed to motorists for at least two weekends in January.
Roads Minister Duncan Gay says the work cannot be avoided.
''Frankly it's a bit of a mess at the moment, right down to the membrane,'' he said.
''In January we will have to replace the pavement on the bridge for the first time in 80 years.''