Artists impression of Watford Health Campus

Watford Health Campus

The Health Campus will transform 65 acres of land surrounding Watford Hospital, creating an attractive new community that will deliver more than1,000 new jobs, 750 homes and local retail and leisure facilities.

Initial Infrastructure improvements include the creation of new access roads stretching for a mile and a half through Watford, as well as rail links, which will pave the way for speedier journey times to and from the hospital for emergency vehicles, staff and visitors.

The route of the new access road crossed challenging ground conditions adjacent to the River Colne, including made ground and alluvium underlain by river terrace gravels plus several utilities. Significant cut and fill earthworks were required including embankments and surcharging.

Project Summary

  • Name
  • Watford Health Campus
  • Location
  • UK
  • Date
  • 2015
  • Client
  • West Hertfordshire Hospitals, NHS Trust
  • Contractor
  • Volker Fitzpatrick
  • Instrumentation Specialist
  • Geosense
  • Consultant


Monitoring to avoid excessive pore water pressure build up during surcharge was required as the major embankments were to be built on top of compressible made ground and alluvium underlain by river terrace gravels with a high water table. Settlement monitoring of the fill was also necessary.

In addition, a major utility pipeline runs underneath the new embankment to be built and therefore there was concern that any embankment formation spread could cause lateral movement of the pipeline. A large concrete protective slab was cast on top of the utility line onto which a section of the embankment was to be built. Soil Extensometers were installed adjacent to the concrete slab to monitor any spread of material during filling.