Project Overview

Part of CDOT's comprehensive plan to improve travel in the I-70 Mountain Corridor, this project upgraded 13 miles of eastbound I-70 within CDOT's existing right-of-way. The upgrades created the I-70 Mountain Express Lane—a wide shoulder that, only during peak travel periods, operates as a third travel lane.

The I-70 Mountain Express Lane is dynamically priced to keep traffic moving. Prices fall when CDOT wants to encourage drivers to use the lane and increase as the lane reaches capacity. Learn more about how Express lanes Operate.

Using the shoulder to create an express lane within the existing I-70 right-of-way during peak periods instead of adding a full lane has several benefits.

For long-term information on traffic conditions along the I-70 mountain corridor, travelers can sign up for text or email alerts, visit, or call 511.

Project benefits

  • Dynamic toll pricing keeps traffic moving; prices fall to encourage drivers to use the lane and rise as the lane reaches capacity.
  • Reduces travel time by nearly half from the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels to the top of Floyd Hill, resulting in an average 30-minute time savings
  • Provides drivers with the choice of a new, more reliable travel lane
  • Avoids overbuilding I-70 by using the shoulder as a third lane during peak hours
  • Enhances recent Twin Tunnels (Veterans Memorial Tunnels) improvements
  • Allows for faster speeds in all lanes, thus decreasing overall travel time

How does the I-70 Mountain Express Lane Work?

Picture 4

Before Express Lanes

picture 2

Express Lane Closed

picture 3

Express Lane Open