Your free ride on Colorado's Interstate 70's westbound express lane has come to an end and tolling has begun.

It was one year ago that the westbound I-70 express opened to the public following two years of construction. What you may not have realized is that it has been free to use up until now on those occasions when it has been open. Tolling on the westbound express lanes went into effect on July 7. The eastbound express lanes on I-70 have been operational since 2015.

Where Is the Westbound I-70 Express Lane Located?

The westbound express lane runs from the Veterans Memorial Tunnels to Empire. The 12-mile-lane allows drivers who so choose, to pop over to the single lane - and for a toll bypass traffic in the other lanes which may be congested during peak driving times.

When Is the I-70 Express Lane Open?

The express lane is only open during peak periods of travel such as holidays and weekends. At other times, that single lane remains an option for emergency stopping -if necessary. Overhead signage will always indicate if the express lane is open or closed.

Who Can Use the I-70 Express Lane?

Anybody can use the express lane, with the exception of trucks and trailers which are not allowed. Motorcycles can use the lane - but they will have to pay the toll.

Zane Mathews
Zane Mathews

How Do I Use the I-70 Express Lanes?

There are specific entry and exit points for the express lane which will be noted by dashed lines. Anytime there is a solid line it should not be crossed either to get in the express lane or to get out of it. By the way, the speed limit for the express lane is the same as the other lanes.

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How Does the Express Lane Tolling Work?

When you open an Express Toll account, you start with a $35 pre-paid balance and you receive a transponder that goes inside your vehicle. When you use the express lane, the antennas read the transponder and the toll is automatically deducted from your account. If you don't have an account when you use the express lane, photos are taken of your license plate and you receive a bill in the mail.

How Much Does It Cost To Use the I-70 Express Lane?

The cost to use the express lane depends on two factors - the day of the week and whether or not you have an Express Toll Account. If you are even slightly considering using the express lane, it will definitely be most beneficial to get an account.

License Plate: $16.25

Transponder: $9
License Plate: $16.25

Transponder: $8
License Plate: $14.67

Transponder: $9
License Plate: $16.25

How Do I Get An Express Toll Account?

To get the money-saving transponder, all you have to do is go to the express toll website and create an account. You'll need a credit card to establish your pre-paid balance of $35.

You may or may not ever use the I-70 express lanes, but at least now you know how it works.

America’s Most Dangerous Highway is in Colorado

Take a virtual tour of what many call Colorado’s ‘Highway to Hell.’

White Knuckle Your Way Down Colorado's Most Dangerous Roads

Slivers of asphalt cling to mountainsides with barely enough room for a subcompact car, let alone the monster RVs peppering the roadways. Blind corners leave even the most experienced drivers wondering what awaits around the bend. Let's not forget the thousand-foot drops with nothing between safety and impending doom but a thin slice of gravel -- talk about white knuckles.

If you're brave enough to "risk your life" for beautiful views, you won't be disappointed.

How many of these dangerous roads have you traveled in Colorado?



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