In traditional orthotropic plates the trapezoidal longitudinal stiffener is welded to the transverse girder web and to the bottom flange of the main girder. In a recently developed orthotropic plate the stiffeners and the transverse girder web are not connected. This approach provides for a significant reduction in the amount of flame cutting and welding, but more importantly there is no longer a need to assess the fatigue condition of the weld between the stiffener and the web. On the other hand, the potential for local buckling of the free edge of the web near the trapezoidal stiffener must be considered.
The aim of the paper is to point out the inevitability of the proof-load tests for the real and correct behavior of bridge structures in ultimate limit state and maximum allowable deformations in serviceability limit states. It is needed to point to the most consequences of resistance, reliability, durability and lifetime of the bridge structures. Using the proof-load tests for new bridges is prescribed by the Slovak standard STN 73 6209.