Reverse Engineering of existing reinforced concrete slab bridges

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Most bridges in the Dutch infrastructure are built before 1985 and have experienced increasing traffic intensities and loads. On the other hand, the structural (design) codes have changed over the years. A frequently faced problem in practice is that the original design calculations and technical drawings of a large percentage of the existing bridge stock are unknown or lost. Therefore, the current capacity of the bridge is unknown. The currently used method to map the reinforcement dimensions and amounts in an existing bridge is by (X-ray) scanning. As an alternative, this work proposes Reverse Engineering of the existing bridges, by redoing (a correct) former bridge design with a known design year and load class as a starting point. Consequently, the Reverse Engineered bridge design can be assessed according to the current Eurocodes. A parametric study reveals different capacity margins in former structural bridge design than expected beforehand. Bending moment seems to be the governing failure mode where the main focus in literature laid on shear failure.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventIABSE symposium 2020 : Facing the New Age! – How do Structural Engineers tackle the COVID-19 era? - Online due to COVID-19
Duration: 2 Sept 20203 Sept 2020


ConferenceIABSE symposium 2020
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Reverse Engineering
  • existing bridges
  • former bridge design
  • capacity margin
  • assessment
  • parametric study
  • reinforced concrete


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