Welder working on infrastructure pipe

Upgraded Infrastructure Is in the Pipeline

While local to Baltimore, the Downtown Pipeline project’s effects extend far beyond—enhancing safety, reliability, and environmental sustainability for tens of thousands of customers.

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The city of Baltimore is getting a dramatic makeover, underground. Through its Downtown Pipeline Project, BGE’s own construction crews are replacing aging cast iron gas pipes, some dating back to the 19th century, with modern and resilient infrastructure. This project is the most significant gas work BGE has undertaken in this area of Baltimore since before the First World War. The multi-year investment underlies some of the most historic city areas, including the Downtown Baltimore and Mount Vernon neighborhoods and landmarks such as the Washington Monument.

But the benefits of the Downtown Pipeline Project reach well beyond city limits—into the homes, businesses, and daily lives of BGE customers. “More than a hundred years of technological advances go into this new pipeline,” says BGE’s Manager of Engineering David Smith. “It’s exciting. It is much bigger capacity, replacing two or three aging, less efficient pipes, with one state-of-the-art one. The Downtown Pipeline Project also proactively enhances safety and reliability, working to supply customers with gas during cold weather conditions and protecting against potential threats,” says Smith.

The Downtown Pipeline Project accelerates the modernizing of the gas system and supports the State if Maryland’s legislated mandate to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2045 by reducing susceptibility to leaks. Also, as electrification expands throughout Maryland in an effort to reach the state’s climate goals, gas customers will continue to benefit from gas energy when they need it most, during the coldest months of the year.

All customers will benefit, though, as using natural gas during those frigid days increases future affordability by reducing the total amount of electric infrastructure that would need to be built to support winter energy needs. So, while the Downtown Pipeline work is local, “The effects will be far-reaching,” says Smith. “Tens of thousands of customers will benefit through safety, reliability and environmental enhancements of the Downtown Pipeline Project.”