Toll lane to open soon on EB I-70 in mountains

Posted at 7:19 PM, Sep 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-10 21:19:26-04

A toll lane on eastbound I-70 between the Empire Junction and Idaho Springs is scheduled to open before the end of the year.

The Vail Daily reports the toll lane will be open during weekends and holidays. Tolls will range from about $3 to $30 per car depending on traffic volume. 

Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Amy Ford aid they don't expect tolls will ever reach the $30 range.

She said fluctuating tolls will limit drivers in the lane, keep traffic moving and help repay the bonds used to fund the expansion.

The I-70 Mountain Express Lane project is using the shoulder of I-70 to create a third lane. It will only be open  during peak travel periods to help alleviate some of the congestion and keep traffic moving through the corridor, without expanding the footprint of the highway, CDOT said.

Some drivers are supportive of the opening lane, though wary of the toll.

"The winter gets horrible. I'll leave with the trailer at 3:00 in the morning to avoid traffic," said Ian Porche"During the ski season when it's just super loaded. I think it'll be a way good thing."

I-70 Coalition Director Margaret Bowes says this is the most significant capacity expansion in years on a road that opened in 1979.

Learn more about the 13-mile project here.