North I-25 Express Lanes Open for Testing March 14 and 21

March 10, 2016 - Denver Metro/CDOT Region 1 -Tolls waived during testing period; new Express Lane drivers encouraged to get a pass.

DENVER/THORNTON – The High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) today announced the opening of the northbound North I-25 Express Lane to traffic on Monday, March 14, and the opening of the southbound lane for testing on March 21. The lanes go to 120th Avenue from the existing Central I-25 Express Lanes in Denver, which ends at US 36. Travelers will be able to drive in the lanes for free and learn how to use them while toll collection is waived during the testing period.

Once testing is complete, drivers can choose to ride a bus, pay a toll as a single driver or carpool for free with one other person and an ExpressToll account and pass. The three adjacent general purpose lanes will also always be free.

“CDOT’s Express Lanes will bring much-needed added capacity and choice to drivers in the fast-growing north metro area,” said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT Executive Director. "Corridors with the new express lanes can experience operation improvement for all lanes, from decreased travel times to consistent and faster speeds. Drivers should take advantage of this testing period to try out the lanes before toll commencement early this summer.”

CDOT and HPTE will host a telephone town hall on May 2 to discuss the proposed toll rates for this corridor. Click here for more information on the Telephone Town Hall and click here for information on the proposed toll rates. CDOT encourages all drivers to save money each trip with an ExpressToll pass. Without a pass, using License Plate Toll, drivers will pay the toll plus an additional fee to cover the increased costs of processing the transaction without a pass.

What you need to know about the North I-25 Express Lanes:

  • The North I-25 Express Lanes will be available 24 hours a day, however, they connect to the existing Central I-25 Express Lanes which are reversible lanes that are open in certain directions at different times of the day. As part of this project, there is a new connection to the existing Express Lane section that will force southbound traffic back on I-25 by 70th Street when the reversible lanes are northbound.

  • Northbound travelers:

    • There are three northbound entries to the new Express Lane. Similar to the I-70 Mountain Express Lane, one toll is charged for the entire section. CDOT wants to encourage throughput and will charge one price for the whole section, no matter where the driver enters.

    • From northbound I-25, entrances are: before 84th Avenue, before Thornton Parkway, and before 104th Avenue.

  • Southbound travelers:

    • There are three entrances to the southbound I-25 Express Lanes: After 120th Avenue, before Thornton Parkway and before 84th Avenue.

    • Entrances to the existing Express Lanes to Denver are at the I-270 exit ramp and another chance to enter right after the I-270 exit.

  • Drivers who currently use the existing I-25 Express Lanes can use the new section for free during the testing period. Be advised that tolls are still being collected in the section from Denver to US 36 on the I-25 Express Lane.

  • If you are driving from the US 36 Express Lanes to the northbound North I-25 Express Lane, you must exit the US 36 Express Lanes and then re-enter the North I-25 Express Lanes at 84th Avenue.

  • Do not cross the solid white line; enter and exit at the designated areas only, shown with a white dotted line.

  • Travelers will be charged the toll price posted when they entered an Express Lane, except for the sections that have toll collection being waived during testing. If the price should increase or decrease while they are in the lane, drivers will pay the price posted upon entry.

  • Get a Pass! ExpressToll saves money each time. Go to to get the pass that is right for you. The same ExpressToll passes (stickers or switchable transponders) that are used on CDOT’s Express Lanes on US 36, I-25 (existing), and I-70 Mountain, as well as E-470 and the Northwest Parkway will work on the North I-25 Express Lane.

The North I-25 Express Lanes used existing infrastructure to expand the capacity of I-25 for six miles, from US 36 to 120th Avenue, by adding an Express Lane in each direction on the inside shoulders. In addition, the project resurfaced the existing lanes in this six-mile stretch, lowered the profile of I-25 under the 88th Avenue bridge to increase truck traffic safety, reconstructed the connection area of the existing Express Lanes and their ramps to I-25, constructed new concrete noise barriers, and installed new highway signage that includes CDOT’s Active Traffic Management system that alerts drivers of incidents. Construction began in 2013.


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. CDOT Express Lanes are currently on seven miles on I-25, between downtown Denver and US 36; on 16 miles of US 36 between Westminster and Boulder; and on the 13 mile eastbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane, from Empire through Idaho Springs. For more information, visit

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

For more information on the North I-25 Express Lanes, go to: