DTE crews are digging into the company’s infrastructure to help keep the power on for customers. As part of our plan to build the grid of the future, crews have been in the Midtown area since 2018 to rebuild and upgrade the underground conduit, cables and transformers that deliver power to this area of the city with stronger electrical equipment.

This work, which is expected to be completed in 2030, is part of a larger $200 million project that includes: 

  • Installing smart grid devices, which can help reroute power to many customers during an outage. 
  • Rebuilding 60 miles of wires, transformers and electrical equipment with more durable, upgraded equipment
  • Replacing utility poles with stronger ones that can better withstand extreme weather 
  • Trimming trees near power lines 

Once the work is completed, we expect a 90% improvement in reliability for customers in Detroit’s Cultural Center, Eastern Market, Forest Park, McDougall-Hunt northern Midtown, Medbury Park, Medical Center, Poletown East and Wayne State neighborhoods who are served by an updated substation and equipment. This means people in the area will experience fewer and shorter outages, especially during storms. The work will also increase safety and the grid’s capacity to support growth and clean energy solutions, like electric vehicles. 


Recently, crews were in the Cultural Center of Detroit, digging up the old underground infrastructure and installing new conduit (pipes that protect underground cables). This new conduit is made from PVC pipe, which is more durable than the clay conduit installed originally. This new conduit material will last longer and better protect the underground cables, resulting in fewer outages. 

To date, we have installed nearly 20 miles of new cables, conduit and transformers. Soon, we will begin to replace the utility poles and overhead wires in the area, too. 

Upcoming work 

Once the new, modernized power delivery infrastructure is in place, we will switch customers over to the new system served by new substations in the area. All this work is expected to be completed in 2030.   

Rebuilding is just one part of our plan to improve reliability. We’re also upgrading existing infrastructure, accelerating our transition to a smart grid and trimming trees. All this work will help improve electric service for our customers.   

Read more about work happening in your neighborhood at empoweringmichigan.com/reliability-improvements or visit our electric reliability improvements map 

Dig ups at Palmer and Ferry between Cass and Woodward; Putnam and Cass and a Wayne State University lot.