(The original press release said testing would begin June 7, but the date has been changed to June 7)
DENVER— The Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado Transportation Investment Office are opening the westbound Central 70 Express Lane for testing starting on Tuesday, June 7 at 5 a.m.. Testing will take place on Interstate 70 between Interstate 225 and Colorado Boulevard. Tolls will be removed while system components are tested. Motorists are encouraged to use this lane during the trial period.
“CDOT’s Central 70 expressways will improve safety and reliability of travel times on one of the Denver metro area’s busiest corridors,” said Nicholas Farber, director of CDOT’s Colorado Transportation Investment Office. “Studies show that on CDOT express lane corridors, travelers in all lanes, including general purpose lanes, see time savings ranging from 20% to 50%. Motorists will notice a smoother and safer ride on this newly improved section of I-70. »
Motorists are currently in a temporary configuration between Brighton and Colorado Boulevards, so testing will not span the full length of the project corridor.
The Central 70 project is a public-private partnership led by CDOT, the Colorado Transportation Investment Office, Bridge and Tunnel Enterprise and Kiewit Meridiam Partners. The project includes rebuilding a 10-mile stretch of I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road, adding a new expressway in each direction, removing the aging 57-year-old overpass between Brighton Boulevards and Colorado and the installation of a four-acre indoor park on part of the lowered highway. Express lanes will cover the entire 10 miles by the end of 2022.
The eastbound Central 70 Express Lane will be open for testing between Colorado Boulevard and I-225 starting June 17. The two expressways were built to increase transportation choices and to help manage congestion on the highway. During the testing period, Express Lane users are reminded that:
Buses, high occupancy vehicles (HOVs) and any type of vehicle can use the express lanes without tolls.
A speed limit of 55 mph must be observed as the lanes are still part of an active construction zone. Speed control will be in place.
To use the Central 70 Express Lanes in early 2023, fare-paying passengers will need an ExpressToll account and pass, or they can choose to pay via license plate toll (at additional cost) . A driver with three or more passengers can use the Central 70 Express Lanes for free with a switchable transponder pass. Motorbikes can travel for free and do not need a pass or an Express Toll account.
Obtaining an ExpressToll account and pass to use the Central 70 Express Lanes saves time and money.
“We’re excited to see these expressways open and enter trial mode,” Farber said. “The Central 70 project is making tremendous progress with traffic expected to be moved to its final alignment by July 2022. Crews are still hard at work on top of the cover to complete the park by this fall.”
Use express lanes safely
During the test period, before the toll is in place, drivers are encouraged to use the express lanes for free and they can only enter through the white dotted lines. Tolls will be temporarily waived during this time to ensure system and technology performance. When using the lanes, drivers are reminded not to cross the solid white lines and to obey the posted speed limits. Express lanes cannot be used to pass slower vehicles.
Media staging area for live shots or to get video
The best place to get footage of motorists using the express lanes from June 7 would be the Central Park Boulevard bridge.
About the Central 70 project
The Central 70 project will rebuild a 10-mile stretch of I-70, add a new expressway in each direction, remove the aging 57-year-old overpass, and lower the freeway between Brighton and Colorado Boulevards. More information about the project, including a list of the project’s community commitments, is available at central70.codot.gov.
- Text Alerts – Text Central70 to 77948
- Email Updates – Sign up to receive project updates at c70.codot.gov
- Website – c70.codot.gov – Traffic Impacts Page
- Follow progress on the webcam
Remember: slow for the cone area
The following tips are intended to help you stay safe when traveling through maintenance and construction work areas.
- Do not accelerate in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
- Stay alert! Expect the unexpected.
- Watch the workers. Drive with caution.
- Do not change lanes unnecessarily.
- Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving through work areas.
- Turn on the headlights so workers and other drivers can see you.
- Be especially vigilant at night when driving through work zones.
- Expect delays, especially during peak hours.
- Leave enough space between you and the car in front of you.
- Anticipate lane changes and merge when prompted.
- Be patient!
Download the COtrip app!
The new FREE COtrip Planner mobile app has been designed to meet the growing trend of information on mobile and tablet devices for the traveling public. The COtrip Planner app provides real-time statewide traffic information and works on mobile devices that run on iOS and Android platforms. Visit the Google Play Store (Android devices) or Apple Store (iOS devices) to download!