Lansing Board of Water & Light’s Michigan Ave. ‘Full Steam Ahead’ Project Continues BWL to begin Phase Two starting Monday, June 1

The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) will begin Phase Two of the ‘Full Steam Ahead’ Project on Monday, June 1. The project aims to upgrade the underground steam energy system on Michigan Ave. and Washington Sq. in downtown Lansing. Phase Two is expected to run through mid-August.

The work will include the replacement of more than 427 feet of piping beneath Michigan Ave., along with manhole structure and concrete repairs. The upgrade will modernize downtown Lansing’s underground infrastructure for future business growth while also improving steam service to the 185 businesses and residents served in downtown Lansing. 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.

“The BWL is committed to working collaboratively with businesses, residents and visitors to minimize any disruptions in downtown Lansing. We encourage the community to continue to visit and support downtown businesses during the construction,” said Interim General Manager Dick Peffley.

Phase Two will close westbound Michigan Ave. beginning at the traffic circle at the intersection of South Washington Sq. and Michigan Ave. and extend east toward Grand Ave. to the alley located behind the Tavern + Tap restaurant. Work will include new steam pipe and concrete ductwork and the complete removal and rebuilding of an aging steam manhole near the Radisson Hotel.

Customer access to businesses will be maintained, along with utility service and trash pickup to businesses and residents during the construction.

During Phase Two, the BWL wants the public to be aware of adjusted vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow. Signs will be posted along alternate routes to help people find their way around the construction. The BWL has also provided a map on their website,, to help the public plan their trip downtown.

Phase Three, expected to run from mid-August through the end of September, will close eastbound Michigan Ave., from Washington Sq. to the Radisson Hotel and run south through the alley behind the Tavern + Tap restaurant. Work will include new steam pipe and concrete ductwork crossing Michigan Ave. down the alley, and the removal of an unneeded manhole at the south end of the alley.

The public may now sign up for important updates as the project progresses using their email address. For more information about the BWL ‘Full Steam Ahead’ Project or to sign up for email updates, visit

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