In the heart of Detroit, on Blaine Street, a DTE Energy line crew prepares for an important project. They are replacing older, damaged infrastructure to improve the electric reliability in this neighborhood. 

The crew will be working on a varied project involving four existing utility poles. Here’s what the project entails: 

  1. Primary and secondary line replacement: The crew will remove older lines and install new ones. These lines carry power to homes, businesses, and schools in the area. 
  2. Pole Top equipment upgrade: The existing dated pole top equipment will be replaced with more durable state-of-the-art components. This upgrade ensures optimal performance and minimizes downtime during maintenance. 
  3. Cross arm installation: Decaying wooden cross arms will be replaced with fiberglass cross arms that are more robust than wooden cross arms, which are more susceptible to damage from wind and extreme weather conditions.  
  4. Secondary underground work is part of this comprehensive project and will occur after the overhead work is completed. 

Before any work begins the crew gathers for a pre-job brief, which is a process that reduces the chance of getting injured because care has been taken to identify hazards and plan how to avoid them.  

From working at heights to handling heavy equipment crews discuss mitigation strategies, emphasizing fall protection, proper lifting techniques, and adherence to safety protocols. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including hard hats, safety glasses, flame-resistant clothing, and insulated gloves are the crew’s armor. PPE isn’t optional; it’s mandatory. 

Working with energized wires demands extreme caution. The crew discusses lockout/tagout procedures, voltage ratings, and the importance of maintaining safe distances. 

Both safety and reliability are vital to every project. Upgrades like this are part of our work to build the grid of the future. As part of this transformation, we’re transitioning to a smart grid, updating existing infrastructure, rebuilding older sections of the grid and trimming trees.   

DTE Energy’s commitment to reliability is not just about wires and poles—it’s about empowering communities and securing Detroit’s energy future.  

You can explore DTE Energy’s electric reliability improvements map or visit Empowering Michigan’s reliability improvements page to stay informed about ongoing projects.