DENVER (CBS4) – Drivers tired of the bottleneck along Interstate 25 in the northern metro area may find some relief in the form of toll lanes. It’s a proposal currently under consideration.
Under the plan one lane in each direction would go up between US 36 and 120th Avenue, but some drivers aren’t sure it would make a difference.
“In the morning I hate having to wait for an hour to get home when I know it could take me a half hour to get home if I didn’t have to sit in traffic,” commuter Barbara Padilla said.
“This is probably the worst stretch of highway in the Denver metro area,” Stacey Stegman with the Colorado Department of Transportation said.
CDOT would re-stripe existing lanes and narrow the shoulder. Buses and carpoolers could drive it for free, and solo drivers would pay a toll.
“Your savings will probably be anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes,” Stegman said.
“I think it would be good,” Padilla said.
Not everyone agrees.
“We’ve got enough traffic already. Building more lanes is not going to solve the problem,” driver Robert McDonough said.
It’s not a done deal. The project is dependent upon a federal grant, which CDOT will apply for next week. CDOT would contribute around $15 million, and a handful of north metro cities would chip in as well. Some drivers wish they wouldn’t.
“I’m not going to ride any toll road. I’m not going to pay money for what should be free,” McDonough said. .
CDOT says it would be money well spent.
“It preserves a lane well into the future so that people always have an option of avoiding congestion if they want to,” Stegman said.
If the toll lane happens, construction would likely begin next year. It would take six to 12 months to complete.