At a cost of 65 cents to $3.60 per toll point, the C-470 express lanes in Douglas County will begin charging motorists on Tuesday for traveling the length of the 12.5-mile project, which had been open for free during the summer while testing took place.
The amount of the toll will vary depending on the time of day and how far a vehicle travels. The general purpose lanes will still be free, and motorcycles will be able to use the express lanes without charge. The goal of the project is to decrease travel times, as the Colorado Department of Transportation believes that traffic volume will increase by 40% over the next 15 years from the current 100,000 motorists per day.
The work included adding two express lanes westbound between Interstate 25 and Colorado Boulevard and one lane westbound between Colorado and Wadsworth boulevards. There is one lane eastbound between the Platte River and I-25. In addition, the project improved on- and off-ramps, widened and replaced bridges, and installed noise barriers. Altogether, CDOT estimated the project cost $276 million, more than $155 million of which will be covered by revenue from tolls.
In the project area, there are three toll points going westbound and two on the eastbound lanes. The speed limit is the same as in the general purpose lanes and there is a projected 18-minute time savings during peak travel on the express lanes.