Proof load testing for bridge assessment and upgrading

Mark H Faber, DV Val*, MG Stewart

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    90 Citations (Scopus)


    Bridge deterioration with time and ever increasing traffic loads raise concerns about reliability of aging bridges. One of the ways to check reliability of aging bridges is proof load testing. A successful proof load test demonstrates immediately that the resistance of a bridge is greater than the proof load. This reduces uncertainty in the bridge resistance and so increases the bridge reliability. The paper considers a reliability-based calibration of intensities of proof loads for aging bridges to verify either an existing or increased load rating taking into account possible bridge deterioration. Intensities of proof loads are calibrated based on a consistent target reliability index. The influence of test risk, dead to live load ratio, and uncertainties associated with dead and Live loads and bridge resistance is considered. The results presented in the paper relate to short and medium span bridges. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1677-1689
    Number of pages13
    JournalEngineering Structures
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000


    • time dependent reliability
    • bridges
    • proof loads


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