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About This Item


Full Description

Load testing of concrete bridges is a practice with a long history. Historically, and particularly before the unification of design and construction practices through codes, load testing was performed to show the travelling public that a newly built bridge was safe for use. Nowadays, with the aging infrastructure and increasing loads in developed countries, load testing is performed mostly for existing structures either as diagnostic or proof tests. For newly built bridges, diagnostic load testing may be required as a verification of design assumptions, particularly for atypical bridge materials, designs, or geometries. For existing bridges, diagnostic load testing may be used to improve analysis assumptions such as composite action between girders and deck, and contribution of parapets and other nonstructural members to stiffness. Proof load testing may be used to demonstrate that a structure can carry a given load when there are doubts with regard to the effect of material degradation, or when sufficient information about the structure is lacking to carry out an analytical assessment.