The project will restore the metalwork and seismically enhance the gate, which is nearly a century old and separates Sproul Plaza from the central campus, according to university officials.
Starting Friday, scaffolding will be erected at the gate's central archway and by late November, all the metal work is expected to be removed, leaving the gate's four granite pillars.
"It's going to be very dramatic," said Christine Shaff, spokeswoman for UC Berkeley capital projects. "It's going to look very different to have the gate there with no metalwork."
The project is expected to be complete by spring, according to university officials, and pedestrians and authorized vehicles will continue to be able to pass through the area during the project.
The restoration project came into development when a student group notified university officials the gate had wobbled when it was being decorated for a homecoming event in 2007.
Shaff said age and weather corroded the steel frame inside the gate and affected its ornamental bronze.
Following an engineering study and consultation with metal workers, the university advanced funding for the restoration.
Additionally, a class of 1950 alumni group launched a "Save Sather Gate" fundraising campaign.
The gate, which was the original Telegraph Avenue entrance to the campus, has a history of Cal spirit gatherings and political rallies, according to university officials.