Steam Ahead’ Project Continues

Lansing Board of Water & Light’s ‘Full Steam Ahead’ Project Continues Construction season set for two new phases of steam line work LANSING, MI – The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) has started construction on new phases of the ‘Full Steam Ahead’ project. The project aims to upgrade the underground steam energy system in downtown Lansing. A steam vault is being replaced at Capitol Ave. and Hillsdale Street beginning earlier this month and will be completed in early Summer. A new high pressure steam main will be installed along the banks of the Grand River, and in Townsend Street south of 1-496 starting in July and will be completed in November.

“Steam energy is vitally important to our office buildings, small businesses and residents in downtown Lansing,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “Steam provides a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible source of energy which is used primarily for space heating and water heating. Yet much of the infrastructure is old and needs to be upgraded to ensure long-term sustainability.”

Full Steam Ahead is a multi-year steam line replacement project that continues to modernize the downtown Lansing infrastructure for approximately 175 steam customers. The BWL maintains approximately 9.7 miles of underground steam piping with some pipes dating back to the 1920’s. The following are details about the next two phases of work:

· Steam Vault Replacement at Hillsdale and Capitol: The BWL will replace two aging steam vaults located at the intersection of Capitol Ave. and Hillsdale Street in downtown Lansing. This project will improve the reliability of the system as a whole for many years. During construction, traffic on Capitol Ave. will be maintained with lane restrictions, and Hillsdale Street will be closed at the work site. (April – June 2017)

New High Pressure Steam Main: The BWL will install a new high pressure steam main along the banks of the Grand River, and in Townsend Street south of 1-496. This project will replace an existing 1930’s vintage steam main which is due for retirement, and will provide additional reliability of the system. (July – November December 2017)

Construction impacts to downtown Lansing are expected to be minimal; local street closures of Townsend Street, Elm Street and William Street will be performed south of 1-496.

During these next two phases, 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.

Customer access to businesses will be maintained, along with utility service and trash pickup to businesses and residents during the construction. Some areas of street parking will be affected within the work zone, but the majority of downtown parking will still be available for use. Note that unless a meter is covered by a yellow bag, the space is available.

The public may 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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