News

Tolls waived on US 36 Express Lanes during testing

May 28, 2015 - Denver Metro/CDOT Region 1 - CDOT and Plenary Roads Denver working to increase transportation choices along busy corridor.

DENVER - The High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) and CDOT today announced the opening of traffic on two US 36 Express Lanes for a brief testing period, enabling travelers to try the road as a commuting option while toll collections are waived. The east and westbound US 36 Express Lanes from Louisville to approximately Pecos Street in Westminster are now both open for testing and motorists are encouraged to use the lanes during the testing period, which will last until mid-July. Tolls on the existing I-25 Express Lanes, from Pecos Street on US 36 to downtown Denver, are still in effect.

“This testing period will be used to ensure that the toll collection system is working properly for every type of vehicle allowed to use the lanes,” said Mike Cheroutes, HPTE Director. "Commuters should use this testing period as an opportunity to try the new Express Lanes, experience the new permanent pavement and configuration of the highway and to determine if the use of these lanes is an optimal choice based on personal needs.”

The US 36 Express Lanes Project is a multi-modal, public-private partnership led by CDOT, HPTE, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and Plenary Roads Denver (PRD). The project includes two free general purpose lanes in each direction, one tolled Express Lane in each direction, and a bikeway along the US 36 corridor – offering users the choice to ride the bus, carpool, bike, use the two free reconstructed general purpose lanes or pay a toll in the Express Lanes.

The two Express Lanes that are open for testing were constructed to increase transportation choices, road capacity and help manage congestion on the highway. During the brief testing period, Express Lanes users are reminded that:

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

  • 55 mph speed limits must be adhered to as the lanes are still part of a construction zone

  • To use the US 36 Express Lanes after the testing period, tolled riders will need an ExpressToll account and pass, or they can choose to pay via a License Plate Toll (with additional surcharge). Carpoolers can use the Express Lanes for free, but in order to take advantage, they will require a new switchable HOV transponder. Motorcyclists will also need an ExpressToll account and pass to use the Express Lanes for free.

  • Getting an ExpressToll account and pass to use the US 36 Express Lanes saves time and money. Commuters can go online to www.expresstoll.com to set up an account and order a pass.

“After years of planning and implementation with CDOT, we are extremely excited to see these lanes open and in trial mode,” said Terry Ostrom, Vice President of Plenary Group. “The new Express Lanes offer commuters efficient choice in travel that can be used regularly or on an as-needed basis when a reliable travel time is required.”

Once the testing period is complete, toll collection will begin on the US 36 Express Lanes. Toll information can be found on CDOT’s website. Tolls regulate traffic volume in the Express Lanes to ensure travel times are reliable. Travelers can always choose to travel in adjacent general purpose lanes for free. Anyone can use the Express Lanes by:

  • Carpooling without a toll with two occupants (driver plus one); three occupants (driver plus two) will be required by no later than 2017

  • Using transit by traveling on RTD’s BRT or local bus system

  • Paying a toll if there is only a single occupant in the vehicle, or two occupants beginning no later than 2017.

Background

Information on the US 36 Express Lanes Project and High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) program can be found on the Colorado Department of Transportation website, at http://www.coloradodot.info/programs/high-performance-transportation-enterprise-hpte.

About Express Lanes: Express Lanes increase roadway capacity and help to manage congestion on the highways. The use of toll pricing during peak travel times reduces delays, manages congestion and maintains reliable travel times. Express Lanes currently span seven miles on I-25, between downtown Denver and US 36. For more information, visit expresslanes.codot.gov.

About the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE): The HPTE operates as a government-owned, independent business within CDOT. It searches out innovative ways to finance projects to help Colorado fulfill its commitment to increase travel choices through options that include Express Lanes, transit, biking, walking and carpooling. For more information, visit www.coloradohpte.com.

About Plenary Roads Denver (PRD):

PRD is a Denver-based consortium of industry leading firms established to efficiently deliver improvements to the US 36 corridor. By creating a team of experts from each part of the infrastructure industry, PRD is able to ensure an integrated roadway, bus rapid transit system, and bikeway that serve the needs of all residents. PRD ‘s team consists of Ames Construction, Granite Construction, HDR and Transfield Services, and is led by Plenary Group, an investor, developer and operator of public infrastructure projects in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Plenary Group’s U.S. headquarters is located in Los Angeles, Calif., with additional offices in Denver, Colo.

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