Port and airport

The land available on riverbanks and coasts on which port and airport infrastructure are built can often consist of compressible terrain which is saturated with water. Given the large surface areas which is generally (several hectares) required, land for ports and airports platforms are often reclaimed from the sea by means of hydraulic or terrestrial backfill. Cost-effective ground treatment techniques are very commonly used to treat such sites. Ground improvement works make it possible to accelerate sub-soil consolidation and thus ensure low residual settlement during operation of the infrastructure. When the foundations of the infrastructure require, intensive treatment of filled materials can increase their load-bearing capacity and reduce thrust on quay walls. In cases of strong seismic loading, the treatment can include measures to reduce the risk of liquefaction. This type of project calls for the use of substantial resources to treat large surface areas within a relatively short period of time.

Canals / Dykes / River ports
Dykes, sluices, locks, dams, river ports, barge terminals

Ports / Container terminals / Bulk terminals
Caissons, combiwall, cofferdams, piers, container terminals, bulk terminals

Runways, taxiways, airport aprons, terminal buildings

Man made fill, reclamation, polders



As part of the Cai Mep International Terminal Construction in Vietnam, the ground level needed to be raised by up to 6 m. Menard proposed a solution combining soil mixing along the river bank and vertical drains and preload solution for the container yard. The costs and planning of this solution was not compatible with the client’s overall project. Menard was invited to propose an alternative.

Ground conditions

The ground was made of clay up to 44 m deep with a consistency increasing with the depth. From 42 m to 54 m, a sand layer was observed.


Menard proposed to treat a 60 m wide band using Menard Vacuum™. Not only was the solution more competitive, but it also allowed to use vertical drain and preload solution for the land part of the quay as well as piles for the wharf on the river side. Both operations were undertaken a few meters away from the ongoing Menard Vacuum™ consolidation.

Few months later, thanks to the success of this technique, Menard was awarded the ground improvement works of the Gemalink container Terminal located next to the Cai Mep International terminal.

Key facts

  • 8Month

  • Menard Vacuum™

  • 36,000 m² Improved area

Some projects' references of...
Port and airport

Fisherman Island, Port of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


Consolidation of the Sydney airport runway, Australia