Crews are hard at work in the Buffalo Charles and Davison neighborhoods of Detroit modernizing the electric and gas infrastructure that power homes in the area. The work includes installing new natural gas lines and meters and burying existing overhead electric service lines. 

We have combined the electric and gas upgrades to minimize inconvenience and disruptions to customers’ property. 

Electric progress 

Moving electric lines underground will help keep customers’ lights on, especially during extreme weather. It will also increase safety by reducing the number of wire downs from storms, trees and more. 

Recently, crews have been working on Bloom, Buffalo, Caldwell, Dwyer, Gable and Sparling Streets to install conduit, which is piping that holds underground cables, under the sidewalks, roadways and berms. 

Once conduit is installed on a street, crews will return to install the new main line electric cables. We expect to begin these installations in the coming weeks. 

Starting in 2024, we will drill a narrow tunnel in the front of customers’ yards, where we will place new underground service lines, which will run along the side of a home to the existing electric meter. We will then install a junction box that connects to the DTE underground electric wires and remove the overhead service lines.  

The electric work is expected to be completed in 2025. 

Strategically burying existing overhead electric service lines where it makes sense is part of our work to rebuild older sections of the grid. This is just one piece of DTE’s four-point plan to improve reliability for our customers. Other parts include trimming trees, upgrading existing infrastructure and accelerating our transition to a smart grid. 

Natural gas progress 

Through our Gas Renewal Program, crews have been working to install the new natural gas infrastructure in the two Detroit neighborhoods. New gas lines are made from longer-lasting, more efficient materials that reduce emissions. 

For this work, they are installing new plastic main lines under the sidewalks, streets and berms. Then, they run service lines from the main line to the customers’ meters. Next, they move indoor meters from basements to outside of homes. Moving the meters helps ensure safety and reliability, while improving privacy by nearly eliminating the need for a DTE technician to visit your home. When that is done, they cut gas to the old main and run gas through the new main. 

Crews have been executing this process on several streets throughout the area and expect to complete all the gas work by the end of 2023. 

Throughout the project, customers in the area will receive updates on the work, including power outage details if their home is impacted. To learn more about reliability improvement work happening in your area, visit empoweringmichigan.com/reliability-improvements.