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Old 12-12-2015, 02:03 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,186,249 times
Reputation: 3351

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The I-70 Mountain Express lanes were supposed to open to day, but did not because of snow.
The $70 million dollar solution to ski traffic problems has delayed opening because of 5" of snow!

I travel I-70 quite often and have watched construction of this supposed "solution" and want to go on the
record as predicting this will be a major failure.

Basically they have made two standard width lanes and a shoulder into three narrower lanes without a shoulder.
The new left lane will be a toll lane. This is for 13 miles, eastbound only, from Empire/US40 to Idaho Springs.

They have removed the breakdown lane, if you have a flat, an accident or a mechanical problem, you need to stop in a traffic lane.
For much of the 13 miles there is very minimal room (12-18"?) from lane markers to center walls or guard rails.
Where and how are they going to plow snow?

The new lanes (on the left side) will be closed other than busy weekends, so for over 200 days of the year they have actually reduced the road safety and capacity (narrower lanes equals slow speeds, plus no breakdown right side shoulder). So to speed up travel times for the few who are willing to pay the toll ($5 to $30 depending on demand), they will be slowing down travel time for everyone else 90% of the time.

Emergency crews for Clear Creek County have expressed serious concerns about response times since this project was in the design phase.
For a serious accident in the eastbound lanes, they are saying they might have to shut down the westbound lanes to move emergency vehicles to the accident site.

I certainly hope I am wrong, but I simply do not see this as any type of improvement.
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,528 posts, read 10,197,404 times
Reputation: 9757
The first mistake is calling it a solution. It's not - because it doesn't solve anything. It's merely an option for those with more dollars than sense to buy their way out of the inevitable mess in the other two lanes - just like the US 36 "expansion" and the new managed lane they're putting on C-470. None of these "solutions" are designed to reduce congestion.

Just wait 'til someone sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic says "eff it," and pulls into the toll lane in front of someone going 65 and mass carnage ensues.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:26 AM
 
1,561 posts, read 2,818,232 times
Reputation: 1994
The whole idea is ridiculous. The tolls are outrageous. Traffic has been tied up for months by the construction. It will solve nothing.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,423,223 times
Reputation: 3321
I remember when I was living in Colorado and there was talk of some kind of monorail along I-70 to at least Summit County. I really wish they would have invested in this, rather than what sounds like a potential nightmare. You're right, it's not going to solve anything. It's been a while since I lived in Denver, but my family is still there. Every time I go back for a visit I'm reminded why I don't want to live there anymore. The traffic is absolutely insane. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.
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Old 12-13-2015, 12:47 PM
 
1,423 posts, read 2,534,466 times
Reputation: 2012
I agree, terrible idea. $30 toll, $40 if you don't sign up for express toll.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,904 posts, read 6,499,225 times
Reputation: 7355
Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
I remember when I was living in Colorado and there was talk of some kind of monorail along I-70 to at least Summit County. I really wish they would have invested in this, rather than what sounds like a potential nightmare. You're right, it's not going to solve anything. It's been a while since I lived in Denver, but my family is still there. Every time I go back for a visit I'm reminded why I don't want to live there anymore. The traffic is absolutely insane. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.
They spent $70M on this. A rail system would cost in the billions. This is an attempted stop gap fix.
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:51 PM
 
459 posts, read 672,170 times
Reputation: 726
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDog77 View Post
They spent $70M on this. A rail system would cost in the billions. This is an attempted stop gap fix.
Stop gap or possible incremental improvement if it works and they can extend or apply it elsewhere.

But you're right a train is tens of billions and even another lane in each direction is 5+ billion. Building anything in that terrain isn't cheap and it's not exactly like cdot is so overwhelmed with cash they can dedicate that much money to a corridor that is only congested on weekends in the summer and winter. This may not be a lot but it's something that can help and should pay for itself.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:25 AM
 
918 posts, read 983,858 times
Reputation: 1069
The shoulder lane is mainly intended to reduce traffic in the summers (congestion is the worst during summertime, not wintertime) and likely won't be open too much during the winter months. But $70M is chump change for an incremental relief to the I-70 nightmare.

Clear Creek is probably salivating at the amount of tickets they're going to be able to issue to all of the drivers who won't understand that it's only a traffic lane when it's open- the rest of the time it's a shoulder. Ka-ching.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Texas
12 posts, read 8,663 times
Reputation: 13
Default Mountain Express Toll lane

We are new here (still living in temporary housing) and I have a question about the I-70 toll lane that just debuted. One newscast I saw said that when it becomes fully operational it will only be open on the weekends (and holiday Mondays). What? Are the lanes really going to be closed all other days? Or is it that no toll will be collected during the week.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,904 posts, read 6,499,225 times
Reputation: 7355
It's closed from what I understand and will revert back to being a shoulder. Weekday volume is so minimal it's not at all necessary most day
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