Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver
(Aurora, Colo.) Regular travelers of the westbound portion of I-70 between I-225 and Colorado Boulevard will soon have another lane.
Starting at 5 a.m. on June 7, the Colorado Department of Transportation will open the newly completed Express Lane for testing by all motorists. The testing period will allow officials to ensure toll system components work correctly. The test period will end by early 2023, then tolls begin.
Nicholas Farber, CDOT’s director of the Colorado Transportation Investment Office, said the express lanes will improve safety and increase trip time reliability in a busy area of Denver’s metro roads.
“Studies show that on CDOT’s Express Lanes corridors, travelers in all lanes, including the general-purpose lanes, see time savings of anywhere from 20-50%,” Farber said. “Motorists will notice a smoother and safer ride on this newly improved section of I-70.”
A temporary road configuration is in place between Brighton and Colorado boulevards. The final portion is expected to open for road testing during 2022. The eastbound Express Lane between Colorado Boulevard and I-225 will open for testing on June 17.
“We are excited to see these Express Lanes open and enter trial mode,” said Farber. “The Central 70 Project is making tremendous progress with traffic expected to be shifted into its final alignment by July 2022. Crews are still hard at work on the cover top to finish the park by this fall.”
During the testing period, drivers can only enter through the dashed white lines before tolling is in place. Tolls will be temporarily waived to ensure system and technological performance. Drivers should not cross the solid white lines and need to obey posted speed limits.