DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – If you have driven C-470 through the southern part of the Denver metro area there’s a good chance you’ve come to a complete stop on it.
On a daily basis more than 100,000 cars drive on the busiest section of C-470, near the intersection with Quebec Street and just west of Interstate 25.
The C-470 Corridor Coalition, the commission that oversees the highway, says something absolutely has to be done. They’ve looked at a number of options, and adding lanes drivers pay to use appears to make the most sense.
“The congestion is just getting to the point where it’s literally intolorable,” said Jack Hilbert, a Douglas County Comissioner and a member of the of the coalition.
“We’re trying to add some type of express lane or managed lane,” Hilbert told CBS4. “So it will be user fee based, so people who choose who go into the new lanes would pay some type of a user fee and those who want to stay in the existing lanes, there would be no fee for that.”
The basic proposal, which is subject to change, would add a lane in each direction between Kipling and I-25. It comes with a price tag of approximately $250 million
Driving the entire length of the tollway would cost drivers between $3 and $4 per trip.
Reaction CBS4 got to the proposal on Monday was mixed.
“I think we need extra lanes, but a toll lane would be kind of tough on people to pay both ways,” said Kathy Topping.
“It’s going to have to be done,” driver Kevin McKinnon said. “It’s inevitable because there’s going to be such gridlock there if you don’t do it it’s eventually gonna be at a standstill.”
Hilbert the idea of raising sales or property taxes to fund the lanes instead of using toll lanes probably wouldn’t meet the approval of residents.
“The problem is people think government has this golden room where they make money in the back room and we have all this money and it’s just not there. And it won’t come either,” Hilbert said.
The coalition hopes to have a final decision in place before May. The final design of the project must be completed before then, along with a cost structure analysis and an environmental study.