Gov. Polis, CDOT & local officials kick off I-70 Westbound Mountain Express Lane project

July 11, 2019 -

Gov. Jared Polis, CDOT, local representatives and a construction team will celebrate the start of construction on the Westbound Interstate 70 Mountain Express Lane project this morning. 

In addition to Gov. Polis, speakers include CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew, representatives from Clear Creek County, Idaho Springs and Empire, and Transportation Commissioner Kathy Connell.


The I-70 Westbound Mountain Express Lane project will widen a 12-mile segment of westbound I-70 from the Veterans Memorial Tunnels to Empire Junction (US Highway 40). It is designed to improve safety and mobility on westbound I-70 during peak travel periods along one of Colorado's most congested corridors. 

The project is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 15, and boasts the following benefits:

  • increased capacity, travel time and trip reliability by converting the shoulder into an Express Lane that can be used during peak travel periods; and
  • enhanced advance warning signs, safety pull-outs and improved communication systems.

Project completion is expected in late 2020, with toll system testing continuing through spring 2021, prior to the opening of the Express Lane.

The contractor for the $70 million project is Graham Construction of Denver. 

Travel Impacts

This project will require shoulder closures and westbound lane closures during low-volume traffic periods. A majority of the construction will be completed while both westbound lanes remain open by staging construction equipment in the eastbound Express Lane. This will minimize driver inconveniences by providing improved access to mountain destinations.

Stay Informed


CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and airports, and administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state's intermodal mobility options.