Local communities Celebrate Official Opening of North I-25 Express Lanes

April 4, 2016 - Metro Denver Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - Lanes opened for testing in March with tolls to start in summer

NORTHGLENN, CO – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) celebrated the end of construction of the North I-25 Express Lanes with a ribbon-cutting ceremony near 104th Avenue. The ceremony commemorated the local, state and federal collaboration that went into the construction and delivery of the North I-25 Express Lanes between US 36 and 120th Avenue. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Gregory Nadeau, Senator Cory Gardner and Congressman Ed Perlmutter joined local elected officials -- Adams County Commissioner Steve O’Dorisio and Thornton Mayor Heidi Williams -- and representatives from CDOT and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in the celebration.

"Denver drivers have needed these extra options for quite some time,” said FHWA Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "Best of all, we’re keeping drivers safe and improving a key element to the Rocky Mountain area’s freight economy.”

“I join Coloradans in celebrating an important accomplishment for Colorado’s transportation infrastructure and welcoming the much anticipated opening of the I-25 express lanes,” said Sen. Gardner “I was proud to support the six-year reauthorization of the highway bill, which included several key provisions that benefit Colorado and allow for the expansion of I-25. I look forward to continuing to work with CDOT, local elected officials, and my colleagues to meet our long-term infrastructure challenges in Colorado and along the Front Range.”

“I am very excited to celebrate the opening of the Express Lanes today. This project shows what we can accomplish when all of our communities work together to improve the lives of

their residents," said Congressman Ed Perlmutter. "I look forward to continuing this collaboration to improve the rest of the North I-25 corridor for the area’s families and businesses.”

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. Additionally, the project, which began in 2013, included resurfacing six miles of I-25, lowering the profile of I-25 under the 88th Avenue bridge to increase truck traffic safety, reconstructing the connection area of the existing Express Lanes and their ramps to I-25, constructing new concrete noise walls, and installing new highway signage that includes CDOT’s Active Traffic Management system that alerts drivers of incidents.

“We are excited to celebrate the completion of the North I-25 Express Lanes project, an innovative improvement for the north metro communities,” said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT Executive Director. “Express Lanes can deliver more consistent, faster speeds and reduced travel times for all corridor users, including the general purpose lanes. Since testing began earlier this month, commuters are already noticing positive changes in traffic congestion, as travel times for this critical corridor have been reduced.”

“This is another example of regional partnership,” said Adams County Commissioner Steve O’Dorisio. "Through this collaboration, we were able to get a federal grant, additional noise walls to protect the neighborhoods along this highway and a $72 million improvement to the north metro area."

“Users of North I-25 are very familiar with the effects of traffic congestion,” said Mayor Heidi Williams, City of Thornton. “Now we have options when it comes to busy commutes. People may carpool, use transit or drive solo.”

The North I-25 Express Lanes opened for testing in mid-March, and all tolls are currently being waived during testing. Toll commencement is anticipated for this summer.

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 are open between 120th Avenue and US 36 on North I-25 and, US 36 from Denver to Boulder and on the I-70 Mountain Express Lane. For more information, visit expresslanes.codot.gov. To get an ExpressToll account and pass, visit www.expresstoll.com.

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.

For more information on the North I-25 Express Lanes, go to: www.codot.gov/projects/I25NorthExpressLanes