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Steam pouring out of sidewalk at Detroit's new center

Steam comes from underground pipes

DETROIT – If you've walked around downtown Detroit you've probably noticed steam coming from manhole covers, but have you noticed steam pouring up from sidewalks?

At the corner of 2nd Street and West Grand Boulevard steam is escaping from underground pipes and it isn't just coming from the manholes in the streets.

The warm pressure seeps through the cracks where people are supposed to walk, the sidewalk.

Sarah Ayers works in the Fisher Building and is one of many people wondering what's up with the steam. It forces its way through the crumbling walk right in the path of pedestrians.

"I'm sure it's just an extension of this. Probably pipe that needs to be fixed and they haven't gotten around to it," Ayers said.

Local 4 investigated to find out whether the warm steam posed a threat to those passing by.

More than 50 miles of pipes run through downtown underground and the steam comes from a heating and cooling source for nearly 100 buildings. While the sidewalk is on city property the city of Detroit said the problem links back to Detroit Thermal, the company that owns the pipes.


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