Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go. Everyone knows this classic nursery rhyme from their youth, but it also comes to mind when we talk about how we deliver power to our island customers. Except instead of going over the river, our power lines are buried underneath it.  

Unless electricity is generated right on the island, electrical power must travel across water to the island via power lines. Since electricity and water don’t mix, the power lines are buried beneath the water in waterproof piping called conduit.  

This is exactly how we get power to the 10,000 customers and residents on the island of Grosse Ile.  

As you can imagine, it takes a lot more to repair and upgrade infrastructure when it’s 60 feet below ground and stretches 3,000 feet across the Detroit River. But we’re dedicated to ensuring our customers have safe, reliable power. That’s why we’ve been performing reliability improvement work on the island. 

As part of this work, we recently began the process of replacing two of the existing trunk lines that deliver power to the island. This requires boring under the river from Trenton to Grosse Ile. Crews used a drilling rig to dig exit pits on either end of the river. Next, we began drilling underneath the Detroit Riverbed from the Trenton side and will come out on the Grosse Ile side on Ruthmere Avenue. Once the hole is drilled to the right specs, we’ll be able to pull the cables through and reenergize the lines.

In addition to this work, we also are installing new utility poles, upgrading electrical equipment at the substation that delivers power to Grosse Ile and trimming trees that are growing dangerously close to power lines. This work will help improve reliability, increase safety and add capacity to meet our customers’ growing energy needs. DTE is investing about $14 million into the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. 

Customers in the area will continue to receive notifications about any upcoming work that impacts them. Learn more about work happening in your community at empoweringmichigan.com/reliability-improvements.