STRUCTURAL engineering at Bolton Wanderers' new £35 million Reebok Stadium has received international recognition.

The Institution of Structural Engineers has awarded the stadium one of three 1998 special awards.

The others are the Nagano Olympic Memorial Area in Japan and the Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong.

The award ceremony at the House of Commons was attended by Wanderers director Graham Ball along with representatives of Deakin Callard & Partners, stadium structural engineers, and steel manufacturers Watson Steel.

Mr Ball said: "The judges made their award for an elegant large span structure using fully-welded tubular steel construction and pre-stressed tie-bars to provide a high specification sports stadium for Bolton Wanderers Football Club.

"The club is appreciative of the professional endeavours and design achievements of Watson Steel and Deakin Callard & Partners in their interpretation of our requirements for a landmark stadium."

The award puts Bolton and the Reebok Stadium in exalted company.

Past winners of the special award have included such famous landmarks as the Severn Bridge and the Humber Bridge, Sydney Opera House and the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia and the Toronto Skydome in Canada. Mr Ball added: "The decision of the judges has, naturally, delighted everyone involved in the stadium construction, particularly when one considers the strength of the competition.

"The Reebok Stadium was preferred ahead of Wimbledon's new Number One Court and Media Centre, the Dome Exhibition and Sporting Centre in Johannesburg and the new Terminal 2F 'Peninsula' structure at Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris, which were among six other projects which came under consideration."

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