Ground improvement specialist, Menard USA, together with the Reinforced Earth Co. (RECo), recently won parent company Soletanche Freyssinet's prize for technical synergies and innovation for its many successful collaborations.

Menard worked with RECo and Nicholson Construction on a unique, value-engineered solution that was installed at the University of Pennsylvania's 24-acre Penn Park Sports Complex – a facility that includes three athletic fields, a tennis center, a softball field and a covered soccer field.

Partnering with Turner Construction, Menard was able to significantly redesign the initially proposed foundation support system for the sports complex. The efficiencies gained resulted in allowing the University to build an additional facility not originally part of the budget. In numerous cases, Menard and RECo have worked together to design and construct large mechanically stabilized earth walls used in widening highways and building new bridge abutments. In addition to Penn Park, another featured project, the Mullica River Bridge on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey, caught the attention of the award judges because it introduced significant innovations that were mutually beneficial for all the stakeholders involved in the project.

"These projects give us the opportunity to showcase the kind of unique solutions that we can create when we work together with our sister companies," says Seth Pearlman, president of Menard. "The synergies between our respective companies help to streamline the process, thus positively improving the customer experience from a coordination and risk management perspective."

The bi-annual innovation awards competition is used to promote synergies, innovation, creativity and dissemination of information between companies within the Soletanche-Freyssinet Group, and to encourage new ideas for implementation in the field.