Jul 30, 2021 -- Posted by : goi70

After several years of project construction, the I-70 Mountain Corridor’s Westbound Express Lane opens for public use on Friday, 7/30. In appreciation for the public’s patience through construction, tolls will be waived while system components are tested and drivers are encouraged to use this lane during the testing period. Toll collection is expected to begin later this year. 

“I want to thank the communities in Clear Creek County and Idaho Springs as well as  all drivers who depend on this corridor for their patience during the construction of this important project that will help ease congestion and greatly improve safety on this vital roadway,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “Whether returning from the mountains or traveling to them, motorists now have the option of taking an Express Lane during peak travel times on the mountain corridor. This will provide a more reliable trip and help improve travel times for everyone.” 

“With the opening of the peak period Express Lanes in both the east and westbound directions, our next focus is significant transportation improvements to the I-70 Floyd Hill area, with rebuilt bridges, improved movement, and new micro-transit that will be scaled to utilize existing peak period shoulder lanes.” 

The Westbound Mountain Express Lane spans about 12 miles from the Veterans Memorial Tunnels in Idaho Springs to the US 40/Empire interchange. In addition to the new Lane, the project constructed nearly four miles of retaining walls, improved pedestrian access at the I-70 underpass in western Idaho Springs, added several safety pull-outs on both the East and Westbound sides of I-70, stabilized rock slopes along the highway to improve safety and prevent future incidents, and installed roughly 80,000 feet of conduit that will be used to house fiber cables that enable the use of tolling equipment as well as other communications systems and emerging technology.

Major construction activities are complete, though there will be some final work to finish landscaping and other final project details. When tolling begins later this year, all travelers can either use the general purpose lanes for free, or pay a toll to drive the Express Lane during peak travel periods. Corridor travel studies show that given the introduction of projects like this, drivers in ALL THREE LANES see travel time savings of anywhere between 20-50%. In


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