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Tolls begin on westbound I-70 mountain express lane

The shoulder of Interstate 70 has been transformed into a 12-mile toll lane.

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — The westbound Interstate 70 Mountain Express Lane west of Denver began charging tolls Thursday.

The new express lane runs parallel to the eastbound Mountain Express Lane for approximately 12 miles from Idaho Springs to Empire.

Construction on the project began in 2019, converting the shoulders of westbound I-70 into toll lanes with the goal of easing traffic congestion, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

Similar to the eastbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane, the westbound lane is open during peak travel periods only, such as on weekends and holidays. Electronic signs will alert drivers when the lane is open.

Toll prices will be $9 on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays and $8 on Sundays with an ExpressToll pass, CDOT said.

The lane will be tolled for everyone, including motorcycles and carpools. There is not a free HOV, carpool or motorcycle option.

Drivers can sign up for ExpressToll stickers or Switchable HOV Transponders to save money when using the westbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane.

The same transponders are compatible with CDOT’s Express Lanes on U.S. 36, I-25 and the eastbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane, as well as E-470 and the Northwest Parkway.

CDOT said drivers are not required to use the Express Lane and can always choose to use the adjacent general purpose lanes for no additional cost.

CDOT reminds drivers that it is illegal to use the Express Lane when it’s closed. No trucks, vehicles or trailers with more than two axles or longer than 25 feet will be allowed.

RELATED: CDOT replacing timber bridges along I-70 in Arapahoe County

RELATED: CDOT will start expanding Bustang services

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