The Arch is Crumbling

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So, this is ominous: The Gateway Arch, a monument to westward expansion and also a really big shiny thing, is crumbling.

It's only natural that the Arch, completed in 1965 and therefore just a few years away from hitting the big five-oh, would begin showing signs of age -- take a look at your mom and see if you can tell she's over the hill yet. Yeah, that's what we thought. 

The difference, however, between people and monuments is that facelifts for people cost significantly less than monumental makeovers. 

Engineers arrived Monday to begin the second part of a two-part testing process to determine the causes of corrosion -- and just how far along it is. They'll begin drilling holes and staring into the abyss sometime in January, reports the Post-Dispatch.

Engineers suspect that water has leaked into the 630-foot monument, causing the rust. In January 2012, a final report will be produced, after which (hopefully) restoration work will be done to prevent further damage and clean up the nasty rust spots dulling the Arch's gleam. 

Arch officials say that funding and restoration will not compete with the planned revamp of the Arch grounds in time for the 50th anniversary celebrations planned for 2015.

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