Research Topic

Diagnostic and Proof Load Tests on Bridges

About this Research Topic

Load testing of bridges is a practice as old as bridge engineering. In the past, load testing was used upon opening of a newly built bridge to show the traveling public that this structure is safe for use. Over the course of time, engineers have developed different practices of load testing. Procedures for ...

Load testing of bridges is a practice as old as bridge engineering. In the past, load testing was used upon opening of a newly built bridge to show the traveling public that this structure is safe for use. Over the course of time, engineers have developed different practices of load testing. Procedures for field testing of new and existing bridges have been developed.

Two main types of load testing can be distinguished: diagnostic load testing and proof load testing. In general, diagnostic load testing is used to evaluate and update the analytical models that are used for the design and assessment of bridges. For new bridges, diagnostic tests can be used to demonstrate that the bridge behaves as designed. For existing bridges, diagnostic tests can be used to update the model that is used for some sort of decision-making such as determining the load rating of the bridge, load permits for special loads. Proof load testing is used to demonstrate directly that a given bridge can carry the loads prescribed by the governing code or a specification in a safe manner. For this purpose, a load corresponding to the load combination prescribed by the governing code or specification is applied to the bridge. If the bridge can carry this load without signs of distress, the test is considered to show that the bridge can fulfill specified load requirements.

This Research Topic aims to cover experiences regarding load testing of bridges, and to discuss the current lacks in knowledge and the way forward. For this purpose, contributions covering the following or closely related topics are welcome:

• Case studies of load testing of bridges
• Discussions of international practices for load testing of bridges
• Practical considerations and experience gained with regard to load testing of bridges
• Bridge load testing within the framework of infrastructure management
• Diagnostic or virtual load testing for rating and reliability assessment of bridges
• Decision-making and cost-optimization for bridge load testing
• Reliability-based considerations for assessing the safety of existing bridges through proof load testing
• Novel instrumentation techniques for bridge load testing
• Load testing of fracture- and fatigue-critical bridges
• Load testing on long span bridges


Keywords: Bridge engineering, field testing, measurement techniques, assessment, live loads


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 October 2018 Manuscript
20 December 2018 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 October 2018 Manuscript
20 December 2018 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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