Load testing bridges

The project

In the Netherlands, many provincial authorities own tens of thousands of bridges, many of which are ageing. In the coming years, billions are expected to be spent on replacements to comply with updated legislation. Structural recalculations may show that a bridge cannot be approved for vehicles, but with a load test, Iv can prove that the bridge is still safe.

The challenge

The necessity of these replacements is not always clear. Uncertainty about load-bearing capacity and lack of data lead to conservative estimates and potentially unnecessary replacements, resulting in capital destruction. Iv has developed effective methods to determine the load-bearing capacity of municipal bridges in a cost-effective and controlled manner. The force-controlled load testing method involves incrementally loading the bridge with a truck and accurately measuring the deflection. The jacking method uses an auxiliary bridge with controlled force from jacks. Both methods provide reliable load-bearing capacity information without subjecting the bridge to destructive testing.

The impact

This approach offers significant societal benefits. By obtaining accurate load-bearing capacity information, unnecessary replacements can be avoided, saving billions of euros. The methods are fast, cause minimal inconvenience and reduce reliance on uncertain modelling. Municipalities and other local authorities can make better bridge replacement decisions based on factual data. This approach promotes sustainable bridge management, reduces the environmental impact of unnecessary construction and contributes to more efficient use of public funds. It underlines Iv’s contribution to smart and sustainable infrastructure development.

Curious about the possibilities for your project?

Wouter, managing director of Infra and also COO of Iv, would be delighted to discuss this with you! Get in touch via +31 88 943 3200 or send a message.

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Wouter van der Wiel