Northern Connector

SITE |  Port Wakefield, South Australia

CLIENT  |  Lendlease

CONSTRUCTION VALUE  |  $867 million

The Northern Connector unites three major transit arteries - the Northern Expressway, South Road Superway and Port River Expressway.  It provides a seamless connection between Adelaide, the Northern Suburbs and beyond, as well as improving freight reliability for the State’s economic growth.

The $867 million project was jointly funded by the Australian Government ($694 million) and South Australian Government ($173 million).

The 15.5 kilometre, six-lane motorway marks the first time a concrete road has been constructed on a project of this size in South Australia and was constructed through a diverse range of challenging terrains including swamp-land and salt pans.

Due to the site’s considerable size and varying conditions, a large volume of geotechnical testing was undertaken to ensure each build zone received the correct fill types, with recycled fill brought in from multiple sources. Our team’s specialist soils knowledge led to a significant saving on materials costs.

FMG Research provided around-the-clock support delivering quick technical advice and testing, ensuring optimum moisture content and suitable compaction levels were attained across the site.

A 48-hour turnaround on all testing and geotechnical advice ensured our client could reduce delay costs and keep the project on track.

“More than 10,000 tests were logged on the Northern Connector project and a specialised tracking system was developed to monitor the progress and results of each test."

FMG Research’s flexibility to scale production during construction, through hiring and training new technicians, ensured the prompt delivery of the immense scope-of-works – not only keeping to our client’s tight time frames but also contributing to achieving their employment goals.

Proactive project planning provided an efficient worry-free process that our client could rely on.

“Virtual technologies: - Our on-site team was equipped with a virtual system that allowed them to process tests quickly and provide accurate GPS tracking – ensuring a high-level of quality control.”


Project Benefits

  • Integrated Environmental and Materials testing services allowed for fast turnaround on investigation and testing of fill to determine the ‘fill’ specifications and compaction needs – Saving our client costly delays due to potential fill issues.
  • Around the clock testing support ensured on-site testing was completed at short notice, keeping the project on track. Fast expert advice and accurate monitoring of the site ensured risks were mitigated for our client.
  • Specialist knowledge of local soil conditions and an Assigned Value (AS1289 5.4.2) enabled FMG Research to provide reliable advice on suitable quarry materials for wall construction - Creating a significant saving on material costs.   
  • Fast turn around times kept the project moving forward - Allowing our client to hit construction targets on time.
  • Our worry-free process included a clear communication plan, proactive inductions and streamlined processes to facilitate quoting, ordering, site attendance and reporting - Allowing our client to focus on other aspects of the project.


 FMG Research testing on site for the Northern Connector - South AustraliaHigh quality materials and soils testing services at any time of the day or night.



Key Personnel 

Gary Turnbull, Laboratory Development Manager


Luke Schleidgen, Senior Soils Technician & FMG Research Business Development Coordinator


Who We Worked With


Image Credit

DPTI - Northern Connector 


 Urban Development & Infrastructure


Materials Testing

Compaction & Quality Control Testing