I-70 Mountain Express Lane

Project Status: Complete

The I-70 Mountain Express Lane—the outcome of the peak-period shoulder lane (PPSL) project—runs eastbound on I-70 from Empire through the Veterans Memorial Tunnels to Idaho Springs. The lane is only open weekends and holidays, and is a shoulder lane when not in use.

An Express Lane to Alleviate Congestion

Prior to the I-70 Mountain Express Lane opening, traffic on eastbound I-70 between US 40/Empire Junction and the Twin Tunnels could be delayed up to 2.5 hours for an eight-mile stretch.

Crews on this project expanded eastbound I-70 from two lanes to three between Idaho Springs and Empire. That additional lane—the shoulder of the interstate—now functions as a tolled Express Lane in which motorists can travel during designated times, determined by traffic volumes.

  • During normal traffic, the Express Lane serves as a shoulder.
  • Improved signage alerts motorists when the Express Lane is open.

The Results

Since opening, this and other Express Lanes across the state have moved people and goods faster during peak travel times.


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