Pacific Highway – Menard Oceania ‘A History Of Ground Improvement’

Menard - Remea

“The Pacific Highway upgrade is one of the largest road infrastructure projects in NSW. It connects Sydney and Brisbane, and is a major contributor to Australia’s economic activity”.

(source: Roads & Maritime Services NSW)

As we prepare for our latest ground improvement works using CMC – Controlled Modulus Columns at Lisarow to Ourimbah, we take the chance to reflect on the many projects we have already completed in delivering the largest road infrastructure projects in NSW over the last few years:


The Ballina Bypass is a 12 kilometre long section of the Pacific Highway upgrade running between the Bruxner Highway and the existing Highway at Tintenbar, north of Ross Lane.

For this project, The Menard Vacuum Consolidation technique was chosen as the ideal solution to produce the required soil consolidation within a reduced time with no risk of the embankment instability, additional project costs or delay in program.

This project was the first of its kind in Australia to embrace the Menard Vacuum Consolidation technology and has shown to be highly successful in Ballina soft soil conditions.


The Kempsey Bypass Alliance scope of works included the design and construction of 14.5 km of four-lane divided highway from Kempsey to Frederickton.

The project had to be constructed on soft soils with settlement characteristics. To minimise the effect of settlement, Menard Oceania constructed 875 numbers CMC 450mm diameter piles to depths of between 7 and 11 metres.


Menard Oceania took on the task of ground improvement for 2 new bridges to be built crossing the Kalang River and Deep Creek in NSW.
As the works were close to the rivers, an environmentally-friendly technique was required. CMC is a method that generates minimal spoil which was well fitted to the challenge at hand. A total of 1640 numbers CMCs were installed over the 4 abutments.


This section passing Port Macquarie included a major bridge structure over the Hastings River. Menard Oceania was engaged by Lend Lease to install Controlled Modulus Columns (CMC) as part of the soft soil treatment on the northern approach to the new bridge.

10,500 lm was installed using one rig with an average depth of 19m as well as more than 1,700 cum of concrete.


Menard Oceania was awarded the design and construct contract by SWC on behalf of RMS to provide CMC ground improvement works to enable the widening of the intersection approaches to accommodate extra lanes and construction of approximately one kilometres of retaining walls. More than 500 columns were installed.


“We are proud to have the opportunity to help deliver such an important infrastructure project for Australia” said Philippe Vincent, Managing Director of Menard Oceania.

We would like to thank all the companies we have had the pleasure of working with in delivering these ground improvement solutions and look forward to more opportunities to support this great project.


Menard Oceania maintains an exceptional 45-year history in Australia offering design and construction geotechnical experience. Providing cost effective ground improvement solutions for some of Australia’s mid-to-large infrastructure and construction projects. Its recent completion of the Pacific Highway upgrade, Optus Stadium (Perth) and Melbourne’s Webb Dock Project are Menard’s largest CMC projects in Australia.

Menard Oceania is a part of Soletanche Freyssinet, a group of world leaders in soil, structural and nuclear engineering. This relationship further strengthens Menard’s ability to manage complex integrated problems and continue as the leader and pioneer of specialist geotechnical contracting.

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