Nebraska LTAP


Date of this Version


Document Type



Szerszen, M. and Alhajami, A. (2017). "Protocol to Evaluate and Load Rate Existing Bridges". NDOT Research Report NTRC Project SC-11.


Load tests can be used to verify component and system performance under a known live load and provide an alternative evaluation methodology to analytically computed the load rating of a bridge. Procedures for nondestructive load testing, which involves field observations and measurements of in- service bridges and field testing often can revel additional capacity since analytical bridge rating tend to be fairly conservative. The goal of presented research was to develop a data-driven rating process to assess and rate bridges. This data-driven rating system reduces the subjective judgment of the bridge inspectors through the use of computer models and field load testing, and results in load rating based on field test data. The report discusses procedures to complete a successful field test and acquire the data needed to analyze the results. Developed procedures are illustrated by field testing results for five different types of bridges.