Geotechnical Design Innovations from the Waikato Expressway project

Mark Argent


The Hamilton Section of the Waikato Expressway in New Zealand is being delivered by the City Edge Alliance and has just completed its second earthworks season. The project involves the construction of approximately 22km of expressway standard roadway with 17 grade separated bridges and five major interchanges. Mark was the earthworks design lead for this large infrastructure project which has numerous geotechnical challenges including sensitive volcanic ash soils, liquefaction prone pumiceous sands, and soft alluvial soils. The Alliance delivery model has allowed innovative geotechnical design methods to be explored and developed which have resulted in significant project benefits. These innovations have included:

This presentation provides further details regarding the geotechnical challenges faced by the project and innovations developed in response to these challenges.

About Mark Argent

Mark Argent was the earthworks design lead and the Construction Phase Services lead for the City Edge Alliance during the first earthworks season of the project. He has since relocated back to Australia to become CMW Geosciences’ East Coast Technical Manager, where he has led CMW’s involvement in major infrastructure projects such as the City Link Tulla Widening (VIC), Mernda Rail Extension (VIC), Skye Road Grade Separation (VIC), Kingsford Smith Drive (QLD), Darlington Upgrade Project (SA) and Torrens Rail Junction Project (SA). Mark is a chartered engineer whose technical expertise includes problematic soils (soft soils, expansive soils, sensitive soils), ground improvement, retention systems and earthworks for both permanent and temporary works. He has developed a reputation for finding innovative solutions to ground engineering problems that ultimately deliver his clients value.

Mark is currently the deputy chair of the SA Chapter of the Australian Geomechanics Society.


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