A new pedestrian walkway crosses South Boulevard in Pontiac, Michigan, connecting United Shore’s headquarters building to its recently acquired 900,000 SF building.  The new elevated walkway allows for safer pathways and more efficient movement for employees throughout the campus.

Ideal Contracting self-performed the steel erection for the nation’s longest enclosed pedestrian walkway, which spans 900′ long and consists of 450 tons of structural and miscellaneous steel.

As there was a limited window when the team could close South Boulevard, a main street in Pontiac, the erection weekends needed to run flawlessly.  The south box truss was the first section to be erected.  This section grew by 20′ from the original drawings, which required some modification to the logistics and sequencing plans.  The south box truss was delivered in (6) shop assembled sections ranging from 55′-61’ long, 4′-16’ tall, and each weighing up to 23,400 lbs. The additional weight required the team to assemble the bridge further from the road and transport it using a Goldhofer.  It was critical for the team to avoid the powerlines and light poles during the setup of the laydown space and 275T cranes used to tandem pick the assembled box truss onto the Goldhofer.

The north truss was delivered in (4) sections, which were each about 55′-61’ long.  Our sister company, Ideal Steel, fabricated and delivered a goal post rack system, using timber mats, that enabled the team to set up elevations, assemble the trusses on site, check their level, and safely secure them against the elements.  A 900-ton crane, the largest available in the state of Michigan, was used to erect both the south and north trusses into final position.

Like many at the start of the pandemic, a shortage of labor made having a consistent workforce challenging.  Through proper planning, the team was able to use manpower to accomplish and achieve all the schedules efficiently.

With multiple trades working on site, space was at a premium.  Ideal Contracting Superintendent, Tony Poma, worked with the general contractor, The Alan Group, to ensure that enough space was provided to pre-assemble the box trusses, receive and store material, and exit the Goldhofer onto South Boulevard.   Poma and Spencer Young, Project Manager, worked with McNally Nimmergood and Erickson to ensure there was sufficient space for assembly of the cranes, for the lifts to get the equipment in and out, and ensure that the crane radius did not impede on any power lines or light poles.

Proper Planning, the Key to Safety

The experience of Sr. Project Manager, Tim Kelly was utilized to assist with significant elements on the sequence and operation of the project.  Tony Poma was also engaged in providing expertise in these discussions early on. Through these discussions, a plan was developed for the team to complete both lifts safely.

Ruby + Associates was contracted to provide an erection plan as well as McNally to provide a 3-D lift plan to gain approval from the City to proceed with the project.  Coordination with the general contractor was critical to completing the project safely and on schedule.  Ideal walked the project early with the Alan Group team to convey needs and general logistics.  Controlling the logistics and working with the general contractor enabled us to move trucks in and out of the laydown space efficiently.  Having Cives, the fabricator, provide lifting lugs on the columns and holes in the columns for temporary handrail cut down on man-hours in the field.  Despite losing an entire day due to the issuing of permits, the project stayed on schedule.  Proper planning and constant engagement with the team were vital in making this happen.

The project logged a total of 6,000 man-hours with zero safety incidents.

August 7, 2020

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