Update: Central 70 Express Lanes open for testing (2023)

DENVER —The Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado Transportation Investment Office are opening the westbound Central 70 Express Lane for testing starting onTuesday, June 7 at 5 a.m. Testing will take place on Interstate 70 between Interstate 225 and Colorado Boulevard. Tolls will be waived while system components are tested. Motorists are encouraged to use this lane during the testing period.

“CDOT’s Central 70 Express Lanes will improve safety and trip time reliability on one of the Denver metro area’s busiest corridors,” said CDOT’s Director of the Colorado Transportation Investment Office Nicholas Farber. “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% to 50%. Motorists will notice a smoother and safer ride on this newly improved section of I-70.”

(Video) Testing Begins On Express Lanes Through Central 70 Project

Motorists are currently in a temporary configuration between Brighton and Colorado boulevards, which is why testing will not extend through the full length of the Project corridor.

The Central 70 Project is a public-private partnership led by CDOT, the Colorado Transportation Investment Office, the Bridge and Tunnel Enterprise, and Kiewit Meridiam Partners. The Project includes the reconstruction of a 10-mile stretch of I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road, the addition of one new Express Lane in each direction, removal of the aging 57-year-old viaduct between Brighton and Colorado boulevards and installation of a four-acre cover park over a portion of the lowered interstate. The Express Lanes will span the entire 10 miles by the end of 2022.

The eastbound Central 70 Express Lane will open for testing between Colorado Boulevard and I-225 starting on June 17. The two Express Lanes were constructed to increase transportation choices and to help manage congestion on the highway. During the testing period, Express Lane users are reminded that:

(Video) Central 70 Project: First Express Lane segment opens

Buses, High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) and any type of vehicle can use the Express Lanes while tolls are waived.

A speed limit of 55 mph must be adhered to as the lanes are still part of an active construction zone. Speed enforcement will be in place.

To use the Central 70 Express Lanes in early 2023, tolled riders will need an ExpressToll account and pass, or they can choose to pay via a License Plate Toll (with an additional surcharge). A driver with three or more passengers can use the Central 70 Express Lanes for free with a Switchable Transponder Pass. Motorcycles can travel for free and do not need an Express Toll pass or account.

(Video) Tolls begin on westbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane

Getting an ExpressToll account and pass to use the Central 70 Express Lanes saves time and money.

“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.”

Using the Express Lanes Safely

During the testing period, before tolling is in place, drivers are encouraged to use the Express Lanes free of charge, and they can only enter through the dashed white lines. Tolls will be temporarily waived during this time to ensure system and technological performance. When using the lanes, drivers are reminded to not cross the solid white lines and to obey posted speed limits. The Express Lanes cannot be used to pass slower-moving vehicles.

(Video) Testing begins for Central 70 express lanes

Media staging area for live shots or to get video

The best place to get footage of motorists using the Express Lanes starting on June 7 would be the Central Park Boulevard bridge.

About the Central 70 Project

The Central 70 Project will reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of I-70, add one new Express Lane in each direction, remove the aging 57-year-old viaduct and lower the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards. More information on the Project, including a list of the Project’s community commitments, are available atc70.codot.gov.

Stay Informed

Remember: Slow For The Cone Zone

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

(Video) CDOT testing new I-70 westbound express lane in Clear Creek County

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.
  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.
  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.
  • Be patient!

Download the COtrip App!

The new FREE COtrip Planner mobile app was designed to meet the growing trend of information on mobile and tablet devices for the traveling public. The COtrip Planner app provides statewide, real-time traffic information, and works on mobile devices that operate on the iOS and Android platforms. Visit the Google Play Store (Android devices) or the Apple Store (iOS devices) to download!


How does the express lane work on 70 in Colorado? ›

When not open to traffic, the lane is used as an emergency shoulder for vehicle breakdowns and emergency services. Tolling began in 2022, and drivers will be billed for using the Express Lane either through their license plate or ExpressToll pass/transponder.

Why are tolls being waived in Colorado? ›

Tolls will be temporarily waived during this time to ensure system and technological performance. When using the lanes, drivers are reminded to not cross the solid white lines and to obey posted speed limits. The Express Lanes cannot be used to pass slower-moving vehicles.

Why are Denver tolls waived? ›

Tolls are temporarily being waived due to the project being ahead of schedule. “Opening the Express Lanes early improves safety and travel reliability on the I-25 South Gap corridor,” said Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Shoshana Lew.

How much is the express lane on I-70 in Colorado? ›

Transportation | I-70 express toll lanes soon will cost up to $4.50 for a faster trip through northeast Denver.

What are the rules for the express lane in Colorado? ›

These Express Lanes permit only vehicles carrying a specified number of persons (HOV) or that pay a toll (HOT). Any traveler may use Express Lanes: for free with a motorcycle or if they have at least three passengers in the vehicle; by riding priority buses or bus rapid transit; or.

Can anyone use the express lane in Colorado? ›

Anyone can use Express Lanes, and there are simply different ways to travel them. Users can ride the bus, carpool with two or more passengers (where HOV is allowed), or ride a motorcycle to use the lanes for free. Drivers can also choose to pay a toll to use the lanes.

Do out-of-state drivers pay Colorado tolls? ›

Whether a customer has a Colorado or an out-of-state license plate, the billing process works the same for all vehicle registrations. No advance registration is required. Customers drive non-stop and are billed later. Click here for a Q&A on the LPT billing process.

What happens if you don't pay ExpressToll Colorado? ›

If the account remains unpaid for 90 days, the account becomes delinquent and all overdue toll transactions will be sent to a collections law firm for up to four months in an attempt to find the customer and collect payment. The unpaid tolls, the $5 late fee and a one-time $20 collection fee are due at this time.

How do I avoid tolls in Colorado? ›

To travel toll free, you need a Switchable HOV Transponder set to the red bar (HOV mode) and must be traveling with two or more passengers. Any pass acquired through ExpressToll can be used on all Colorado Express Lanes highways but only the switchable one can be used for HOV.

Do you have to pay for the express lane in Colorado? ›

Using Express Lanes is easy and provides travelers more reliable, predictable travel times. Travelers are never forced to pay a toll. To use any Colorado Express Lanes, you will need an ExpressToll account and pass to avoid a higher toll.

Can I use E-ZPass in Denver? ›

Is E-ZPass accepted in Colorado? No, E-ZPass is not accepted. You can pay via ExpressToll or Go-Pass tags, or use the license plate toll system.

Who owns the toll lanes in Colorado? ›

Colorado State Highway System

The toll road is neither a state highway nor an Interstate Highway but is instead owned and maintained by the E-470 Public Highway Authority, which is controlled by a governing board of eight elected officials of eight local governments.

Can electric vehicles use the HOV lane in Colorado? ›

The owner of an eligible plug-in electric motor vehicle may choose not to pay the access fee, but must pay the fee to be authorized to operate the vehicle for free on any express lane that is a high occupancy vehicle lane and for a reduced toll on any express lane that is a toll lane or a high occupancy toll lane, ...

What is the highest pass on I 70 in Colorado? ›

The 1.7 mile-long Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels are locat- ed approximately 60 miles west of Denver. They are the highest vehicular tunnels in the world, with an average elevation of 11,112 feet, also making them the highest point in the Interstate Highway System.

Is FasTrak free with 3 or more people? ›

You will be charged the full toll. CAVs with two occupants can travel at a 50% discount and toll free with 3+ occupants when using a FasTrak CAV or FasTrak Flex toll tag. Set the switch to match the number of people in the vehicle. A FasTrak toll tag is not required for eligible clean air vehicles.

What is the fine for driving in a closed express lane in CO? ›

Despite the Colorado legislature giving the agency the authority starting in summer 2022 to fine drivers up to $250 for using the lanes while they're closed, CDOT said it hasn't fined a single driver. The legislature said there were 47,828 instances of vehicles using the lanes while closed in 2020.

Does Colorado ExpressToll work in other states? ›

ExpressToll passes only work in the State of Colorado. Travelers from out-of-state can use the express lanes and are billed via License Plate Toll.

Can I drive in the left lane in Colorado? ›

The Left-Lane Law Explained

In essence, on highways with a designated speed limit of 65 miles per hour or more, a driver cannot be in the left-lane unless: They are passing another vehicle in the right lane. They are turning left. Traffic is congested to the point where the driver cannot enter the right lane.

What is the difference between Colorado ExpressToll and Go Pass? ›

How is GO-PASS different from ExpressToll? With ExpressToll, you establish an account with a pre-paid balance and receive a tag for each vehicle on your account. Your tolls are deducted from your account balance when you drive the road. With GO-PASS, you don't need to pre-pay for any tolls.

How does ExpressToll work in Colorado? ›

With an ExpressToll Account, drivers prepay a $35 toll balance and receive a sticker transponder to place inside their vehicle. Whenever the vehicle drives through tolling points on CDOT's Express Lanes or other Colorado toll roads, the appropriate toll amount is automatically deducted from the vehicle owner's account.

How do I use Colorado express tolls? ›

You can use either a Switchable HOV Transponder or ExpressToll sticker pass. Simply switch your transponder to the green "TOLL" mode, enter the lane in the designated area, and you are on your way. If you choose not to use the transponder, you will be billed through a License Plate Toll.

Is there a state with no tolls? ›

If you are traveling on certain roads in California, New York, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey and many other states, you may encounter a toll road. States like Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Wisconsin and Tennessee do not currently charge any tolls.

What state has the most pay tolls? ›

Wondering which states have the most toll roads? In fact, Florida has the most toll roads of any state in the US. In total, this state has more than 719 miles of toll roads. Orange County, in central Florida, has the most at 153 miles of toll roads – there are over 16 toll plazas to collect the tolls needed out there!

Can you pay tolls with cash in Colorado? ›

There are no cash plazas to stop and pay tolls on Colorado toll roads or express lanes. However, Toll can be paid in cash only at the Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado.

Are Colorado tolls cashless? ›

Most toll roads in Colorado on the state map are equipped with electronic systems. ExpressToll and Go-Pass transponders are accepted. Some toll booths also accept cash or Pay-By-Plate. ExpressToll is an electronic transponder that can be installed on the windshield of your car.

How much do tolls cost in Colorado? ›

License Plate Toll Rates – All Hours
Mainline Toll Plaza AToll Ramps
2 Axles$4.20$2.05
3 Axles$8.40$2.05
Each Additional Axle$4.20

How do I cancel my ExpressToll in Colorado? ›

In order to close the LPT account, the LPT customer must call the ExpressToll Service Center so that toll charges can be settled and, if a balance remains, a credit will be issued. The ExpressToll customer service representative will then proceed with closing of the account at the request of the LPT customer.

Can you turn around at a toll? ›

At a manned toll booth, the operator may point you to a place to turn around and send you back the way you came or on to a side road. This may come with a fine.

Are there tolls between Denver and Colorado Springs? ›

All motorists traveling on the I-70 Mountain Express Lane – including motorcycles, carpoolers and hybrids – will pay a toll in the Express Lane. Drivers who want to pay the toll without additional surcharges need a pass and an ExpressToll account. Visit www.expresstoll.com, or call 303-537-3470 to get yours today!

Is express lane in Seattle free? ›

The express toll lanes operate from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and are free on weekends and overnight (from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.).

How many toll roads are in Colorado? ›

Colorado has three toll roads namely: E-470.

Where does Colorado toll money go? ›

Your tolls stay in Colorado and are invested in the region. Gas taxes, vehicle registration fees and other taxes do not support E-470. E-470 receives no state or federal funding to maintain or operate E-470.

Does one E-ZPass cover all the states? ›

What states participate with EZPass? EZPass can be used in the following states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, and ONLY Orlando area in Florida.

Does E-ZPass work in New York? ›

An E-ZPass NY is a small electronic transponder that is used to pay tolls for trips on thruways, tunnels, and bridges in New York and other toll roads where it is accepted. You don't need to stop to pay a toll. The transponder is mounted on your vehicle's windshield.

Is E-ZPass accepted in Florida? ›

E-ZPass is a multi-state electronic toll pass that works in states from North Carolina to Maine and west to Illinois, and now in the entire state of Florida. If your transponder is part of the E-ZPass Group (I-PASS, RiverLink Portable, NC Quick Pass Portable), your toll pass is accepted on CFX roadways.

Does China own our toll roads? ›

The Toll Roads are owned by the state of California and operated by The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA).

What does E-470 stand for? ›

E-470 is a toll highway that runs along the eastern perimeter of the Denver metropolitan area. The 75- mph highway extends 47 miles from State Highway C-470 at I-25 in Douglas County to I-25 near 160th Avenue in Thornton.

Will E-470 ever be free? ›

This fund is required to be fulfilled by 2076. With that being said, tolls will remain on E-470 for the foreseeable future.”

Can Chevy Volt use HOV lane? ›

New Volts, Made After Feb 6

At the moment, there isn't a single Volt owner in the state of California that has a car that is eligible to use the HOV Lanes.

Are Prius allowed in HOV lane? ›

Certain battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell (hydrogen fueled) vehicles qualify for a HOV sticker. Examples include but are not limited to the BMW i3, Chevy Bolt, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Hyundai Nexo, Kia Optima, Tesla Model 3 and X, and the Toyota Prius Prime.

What is the Colorado EV sticker for? ›

House Bill 21-1141 established the electric vehicle (EV) license plate for plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles to raise awareness in Colorado of electric vehicles and to make them easily identifiable.

What is the hardest pass in Colorado? ›

Red Mountain Pass is notoriously tough to drive during the winter and features tricky 8 % grade sections. Named after the price some say it'd take them to willingly drive it, the Million Dollar Highway often tops lists for most dangerous drives in the world.

What is the most difficult pass in Colorado? ›

The Million Dollar Highway

Red Mountain Pass is along the Million Dollar Highway in Southwest Colorado. It's one of the state's most spectacular routes, but also one of the most treacherous, with grades as steep as 8%.

What is the steepest road in Colorado? ›

Lickskillet Road (Boulder County Road 89) is said to be the steepest county road in America, with an average gradient of 14.2% (and grades up to around 18%) over just about 1 mile on a well-graded dirt road. The top of the road is at the town of Gold Hill, at 8286' elevation.

Can FasTrak detect how many people are in the car? ›

The toll tag switch positions are used to tell the toll system the number of occupants in the vehicle, so the correct toll amount is collected. The switch positions also assist with California Highway Patrol (CHP) enforcement of express lane use. Remember to set the switch prior to starting your trip.

Can I use someone else's FasTrak? ›

A FasTrak CAV toll tag may only be used in the eligible CAV to which it is registered. If you have more than one eligible CAV, you must order a separate FasTrak CAV toll tag for each vehicle.

What happens if you accidentally get on the express lane in California? ›

You will be in violation of the California Vehicle Code and subject to a citation and fine if caught by the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Are there any tolls on I-70 in Colorado? ›

I-70 in Colorado is not a toll road, but the designated Express Lanes require a toll for drivers, including motorcyclists, hybrid drivers, and carpoolers. If you do drive in the Express Lane, you can pay your toll online through an ExpressToll account or through License Plate Toll (LPT). .

What is the tunnel on I-70 in Colorado? ›

The Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel (EJMT) is a vital connection to safely move people and goods from the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains to the western slope.

What happens if you don't pay ExpressToll in Colorado? ›

What happens if I get caught using the lanes without an ExpressToll pass? License Plate Toll was introduced in 2009 as another option to pay a toll. For those vehicles without an ExpressToll pass, cameras will photograph the front and rear license plates, and a bill will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle.

Is there a speed limit in the express lane in Colorado? ›

Speed limits apply to the Express Lanes as well as the general purpose lanes. Motorists should not exceed the posted speed limits when using the Express Lanes. Express Lanes should be entered and exited through the dashed line only.

Does Ezpass work for ExpressToll in Colorado? ›

Is E-ZPass accepted in Colorado? No, E-ZPass is not accepted. You can pay via ExpressToll or Go-Pass tags, or use the license plate toll system.

Can you pay cash on Colorado toll roads? ›

There are no cash plazas to stop and pay tolls on Colorado toll roads or express lanes. However, Toll can be paid in cash only at the Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado.

What is the highest Pass on I 70 in Colorado? ›

The 1.7 mile-long Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels are locat- ed approximately 60 miles west of Denver. They are the highest vehicular tunnels in the world, with an average elevation of 11,112 feet, also making them the highest point in the Interstate Highway System.

Why are we stopped at the Eisenhower Tunnel? ›

Why does the Colorado Department of Transportation stop traffic at the Eisenhower/Johnson Tunnel? The primary reason is the safety of the traveling public. CDOT holds or "meters" traffic at the tunnel when vehicle volumes exceed the capacity of the Interstate 70 corridor.

What is the biggest tunnel in Colorado? ›

Reaching an elevation of 11,158 feet above sea-level, Colorado's Eisenhower Tunnel is both the longest mountain tunnel and the highest point in the United States' interstate network. It's also the highest vehicular tunnel in the world.

What is the longest tunnel in America? ›

Driving from Anchorage to Whittier to play in Prince William Sound? You'll go through Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel—the longest (2.5 miles) highway tunnel in North America, and the first designed for -40 Fahrenheit temperatures and 150 mph winds!


1. CDOT to open express lanes on I-25 South Gap Project, tolls waived during testing period
2. I-25 North Express Lanes Fall 2021 Update
(Colorado Department of Transportation)
3. Progress Update on the Central 70 Project | Vlog #27
(Colorado Department of Transportation)
4. Express Lane Project Through I-70 Mountain Corridor To Last Through Ski Season
(CBS Colorado)
5. Progress Update on the Central 70 Project | Vlog #24
(Colorado Department of Transportation)
6. Chick-fil-A testing new mobile express lanes


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated: 16/09/2023

Views: 6253

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.