Ruby + Associates, Inc. Structural Engineers

Project Location: Pontiac, MI

Category: Small Firm

Started: February 1, 2020

Completed: October 1, 2021

Project Budget: Pedestrian Bridge–$20,000,000

Project Cost: Pedestrian Bridge–$20,000,000

Project Leadership Team:

Pedestrian Bridge

  • Erection Engineering Services and Third Party Review of Bridge Design: Ruby + Associates, Inc. Structural Engineers
  • General Contractor: The Alan Group, Inc.
  • Fabricator: Cives Steel Company
  • Erector: Ideal Contracting, LLC
  • Owner: United Wholesale Mortgage (United Shore at time of construction)
  • Architect: von Staden Architects
  • Civil Engineer: Nowak and Fraus
  • Engineer of Record: Thornton Tomasetti

Office Renovation and Sports Complex

  • Office Renovation Connection Design, Cargo Container Support Design, Structural Engineering for Walkways and Stairs, Reinforcing and Slab Edge Detail Design, in additional to Sports Complex Addition Engineering and Interior Modification Support: Ruby + Associates, Inc. Structural Engineers
  • Architect: von Staden Architects
  • Cargo Architecture: Three Squared, Inc.
  • Owner: United Wholesale Mortgage (United Shore during
  • construction)
  • General Contractor: Dailey Company

Project Overview:  The United Wholesale Mortgage Pedestrian Bridge and Office Renovation project was born out of United Whole­sale Mortgage’s expansion and need to connect its employees to two facilities across the street from one another. The solution for this necessity was a record-breaking 1,000-foot walkway over South Boulevard. The nation’s longest enclosed pedestrian walkway, this project connects 1.5 million square feet of office space with a safe and easy to traverse path­way. To complete this project, Ruby + Associates worked closely with Ideal Contracting and their suppliers to erect 450 tons of structural and miscellaneous  teel. To construct the walkway over the busy South Boulevard and surrounding properties, the steel team had to enact careful planning to avoid extended closures of the thoroughfare. This task was ac­complished through measures such as working on the weekends and utilizing a 900T mobile crane to maximize the efficiency of setting multiple long span portions of the bridge. In order to erect these long spans, teams had to carefully plan the logistics and scheduling of assembling, transporting, and hoisting the box truss sections, weighing as much as 104 tons. A separate part of the project involved expanding United Wholesale Mortgage’s offices, which converted a former warehouse and utilized shipping containers for offices, corridors, and other spaces. This sus­tainable re-use of materials provides a unique environment for employees and visitors.

Impact(s): The United Wholesale Mortgage Pedestrian Bridge and Office Renovation is essential to efforts to drive Pontiac’s economy forward.  Transforming spaces such as a 100 year old General Motors automotive factory and creating shared facilities helps connect this project to the community.  In addition, these shared facilities will house programs for tutoring, literacy, arts and crafts, and sports activities that serve the youth of Pontiac.  This project also has a massive impact on the AEC industry.  A full 320 feet longer than the second longest pedestrian walkway in the United States, this project brings both prestige and pushes the boundaries of what is possible.


  • Longest enclosed pedestrian walkway in the United States
  • Sustainable “cargo architecture” concept
  • Transformation of a 100 year old General Motors automotive factory