Full Steam Ahead is a multi-year steam line replacement project that continues to modernize the community's infrastructure. Updates will be sent out regularly to keep the public informed.

Steam Vault Replacement Project
Starting in April - Completion in early Summer

High Pressure Steam Main Project
Starting in July – Completion November

Full Steam Ahead

Construction Photos


Q: What does the steam do for the city?

A: Steam provides a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible source of energy which is used primarily for space heating and water heating. Steam customers in downtown Lansing include office buildings, small businesses and residents. The BWL even provides steam service to the Michigan State Capitol Building!

Q: What will the Steam Vault Project be fixing?

A: Like all infrastructure, steam mains are designed according to expected demands, and are built using the best practices of the time. These particular steam vaults were originally installed in 1984, and the high temperatures of the transmission system have taken its toll. These vaults are being upgraded to respond to maintenance concerns, and are being built using modern practices to ensure safe, reliable service for many years into the future.

Q: What will the High-Pressure Steam Main Project be fixing?

A: This project will replace a high-pressure steam main which was originally installed in 1934. The original main was built on property now owned by General Motors, and while the original construction was a good design and location for its time, development since then has made this main very difficult to operate and maintain. The new high-pressure main will constructed specifically to reduce costs and improved reliability, and is expected to be serviceable beyond 2065.

Q: How long will the construction take place?

A: Construction of the Steam Vaults will start in April 2017, and are expected to be completed in June. Construction of the High Pressure Steam Main is expected to start in July 2017, and is expected to be completed in November of 2017.

Q: How many miles of steam line are there?

A: The BWL maintains approximately 9.7 Miles of underground steam piping with some pipes dating back to the 1920’s. The BWL is implementing a strategic plan to modernize the entire steam system to ensure its long-term sustainability.

Q: Will parking be affected during construction?

A: Some areas of street parking will be affected within the work zone, but the majority of downtown parking will still be available for use. Travelers should take note, even meters located behind coned areas may be available for use. Unless the meter is covered by a yellow bag, the space is available for you!

Q: Will all businesses be open during construction?

A: Yes, all downtown businesses will be open and accessible during construction. Be sure to look for directional signs to help you navigate.



Come downtown today! With warmer weather finally here, there are plenty of things happening in downtown Lansing. Don’t let the construction deter you from checking out what’s happening in the city. With Common Ground, Taste of Downtown and more, there are so many things to explore. Click below to learn more.



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