LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Benton Harbor leaders say the city is accepting bids from contractors for an ambitious project to replace all lead water pipes no later than 2023 due to elevated levels of the toxic metal in the municipal supply.

Because the “action level” for lead has been exceeded, for three years, the estimated 2,800 service lines must be removed over about 15 years under federal and state regulations.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has promised to spend millions of dollars to replace them in 18 months, with work starting next spring.

Benton Harbor invited bids last week and released details about the plan Monday.