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Proof loading of bridges is an option to study existing bridges when crucial information is lacking.
When proof loading is chosen, the question arises which maximum load should be attained during the test
to demonstrate sufficient capacity, and which criteria, the “stop criteria”, based on the measurements during
the test, would indicate that the test needs to be aborted before reaching the maximum desired load. A review
of the literature identifies the stop criteria in currently used codes and guidelines. Beams sawn from the Ruytenschildt
bridge were tested in a controlled way in the laboratory and analyzed with regard to the stop criteria
from the literature. Recommendations are given for the future development of stop criteria for flexure and
shear. These recommendations will form the basis for a guideline on proof loading of existing concrete bridges
that is under development in The Netherlands.