Melissa Walsh

Done for now

Grosse Pointe News | December 7th, 2017

Done for now By Melissa Walsh

Grosse Pointe Farms and Woods — The DTE Energy crews replacing gas lines in the Farms and Woods have packed up and moved out to return as early as February 2018 to resume infrastructure upgrades.

The multi-year gas main renewal program replaces more than 140 miles of cast-iron and steel gas lines with flexible polyethylene lines in older Michigan communities, including Grosse Pointe Farms and Grosse Pointe Woods. DTE is also replacing current gas meters with advanced meters.

Areas undergoing gas main replacement in 2018 include a small patch of Grosse Pointe Woods south of Cook Rd. near Monteith Elementary School and in Grosse Pointe Farms from the northern border with Grosse Pointe Woods to Moross between Mack and Lakeshore, Kerby to Fisher between Mack and Chalfonte and from Touraine to Fisher between Chalfonte and Lakeshore.

Residents in these areas will receive a letter from DTE 30 days prior to gas main work beginning near their home. DTE representatives will also go door to door as they’re setting up to provide information about the renewal program and instructions for meter replacement. This will be a window of opportunity for residents to request where they would like their new meter placed.

“They should make sure they get the attention of the crew leader if they have some specific needs with respect to meter placement,” DTE Communications Manager Pete Ternes said.

“We’ll do our best to accommodate them,” DTE Regional Manager Jennifer Whitteaker added. “The most efficient way is to put the meter where the line comes into the home. Moving it to the back will incur additional cost because that’s not the most efficient place to put it.”

“We can’t honor everybody’s request, because that would raise the cost for everybody,” Ternes said.

Crews will arrive with trucks carrying supplies for the work and personnel to communicate with residents impacted by the work.

“We asked customers when would they like to hear from us, and they said ‘When you’re digging holes in our front yard,’” Ternes said. “So this is a way to let them know what this truck’s job is.”

Grosse Pointe gas mains are mostly underneath sidewalks, Ternes said. Rather than having to break of up the streets, DTE’s gas main crews need to break up sidewalks, also affecting landscaping.

“They’ll restore what has been disturbed,” Ternes said.

Once the gas lines are replaced, DTE crews perform soft-surface restoration of disturbed landscaping and hard-surface restoration of sidewalks.

Whitteaker said DTE is working with city management to coordinate any concurrent infrastructure projects, such as road or sewer work.

There’s a strategy in determining where the crews go next, explained DTE Regional Manager Jennifer Whitteaker. The engineers consider safety and reliability of gas delivery to residents’ homes in planning replacement of the lines.

“It’s a lot about upgrading the infrastructure,” Whitteaker said, “but part of that is they have to monitor the pressures. It doesn’t look apparent to us, but the engineers know how to keep the system operating while they’re upgrading at the same time.”

“We’re actually getting better as we go,” Ternes said. “As this program gets more mature, we’re getting better at following up on issues.”

For more information and a map, visit newlook.dteenergy.com. The dedicated number for the main renewal program is (313) 256-6227.