Project Benefits

With broad local and regional support for the I-25 North Express Lanes as the first logical and affordable improvements in the corridor and $15 million in state and local funding, the addition of the TIGER Discretionary Grant allows acceleration of the project schedule and build the necessary improvements by 2012 – two decades earlier than originally planned.

The Record of Decision (ROD) for the North I-25 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) signed in December 2011, identified a $145 million priority project to extend managed lanes on I-25 north of US 36 into Adams County. However, the project’s high price tag to expand the highway wouldn’t be funded or built until 2035.

Recognizing that it is unrealistic to build their way out of congestion, CDOT explored ways to optimize Colorado’s existing transportation facilities and squeeze more capacity and efficiency out of the existing system in order to provide a more immediate solution for congestion relief.

It was determined that the inside shoulder on this northern portion of I-25 is sufficiently wide to accommodate the new managed lanes within the existing roadway template, eliminating the need for costly right-of-way or additional paved surface. This innovative approach allows for the I-25 North Express Lanes to be built at less than one-third the original cost and with an estimated $512 million in benefits including:

  • Improving mobility for all travelers by providing a sustainable alternative to congestion two decades earlier than planned.
  • Enhancing existing Express Bus service by providing access to congestion-free managed lanes.
  • Providing nearly 20-minute travel time savings for vehicles in the managed lanes, and a 4-minute savings for all others.
  • Providing travelers viable transportation choices: by allowing transit, carpools, and vanpools to bypass congestion.
  • Improving mobility for freight carriers, businesses, and emerging energy industries – supporting long- term national economic recovery.
  • Creating an estimated 576 critically needed jobs. Supports regional land use policies aimed at sustainable development patterns for the Denver area.
  • Improving accessibility for thousands of affordable housing units located on this stretch of I-25.
  • Providing additional capacity while minimizing long-term operating and maintenance costs.
  • Generating a new reliable revenue stream that offsets the cost of operations and maintenance of the new managed lanes.
  • Reducing fuel consumption by as much as 10 million gallons and greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 90,000 metric tons due to reduced vehicle delay and idling over 10 year period.