Strength Evaluation of Prestressed Concrete Bridges by Load Testing


Field tests confirm additional strength capacity in existing bridges, particularly in the case of precast-prestressed concrete bridges, despite their visual condition and age. Sources that explain the differences are multiple and may be related to different site-specific parameters that are not considered during the strength evaluation of a bridge structure. This study aimed at presenting a load rating protocol using experimental data collected with robust and reliable measurement devices to perform an experimental strength evaluation of prestressed concrete bridges in LRFD format. The case study presented herein demonstrates how site-specific parameters that are measured during a diagnostic load test can be incorporated into the strength evaluation of a bridge to improve its load rating capacity. BridgeA7957's experimental data and experimental evaluation methodology are expected to encourage more discussion among bridge designers and evaluators to better understand and improve current bridge analysis and evaluation practices of precast-prestressed concrete bridges.

Meeting Name

6th International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering, IALCCE 2018 (2018: Oct. 28-31, Ghent, Belgium)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and the National University Transportation Center (NUTC) at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T).

Keywords and Phrases

Concrete beams and girders; Concrete bridges; Concrete testing; Life cycle; Load testing; Precast concrete; Prestressed concrete, Bridge structures; Diagnostic load tests; Experimental evaluation; Reliable measurement; Site-specific parameters; Strength capacity; Strength evaluation; Visual condition, Parameter estimation

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 CRC Press/Balkema, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2019