7:46am

Fri August 23, 2013
Transportation

Are Tolls The Future Of North I-25?

Dozens of government and business leaders from Northern Colorado gathered in Longmont Thursday to discuss the future of I-25 between Denver and Fort Collins.

The goal was to gather feedback on a pending $100 million grant application for improvements. The funds could be leveraged for building a third toll lane between Longmont and Fort Collins in the coming years.

As with most transportation expansion projects in Colorado, it’s a matter of both cost and timing.

“Do you want to do it sooner, or do you want to wait until 2055 and that’s the important question we’re trying to get at,” said Johnny Olson with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

As the Coloradoan reports, the other option transportation officials were considering was to wait and follow the timeline in the North I-25 Environmental Impact Statement – the aforementioned 2055.

The proposed toll option would mean a third lane would need to be added from Highway 66 north to the County Road 14 (Mulberry) Exit at Fort Collins. To make it work it would require a continuous lane from Denver all the way north.

The plan would convert already existing and paid for lanes extending from Denver to Highway 66, otherwise known as segment 4 in CDOT’s plan. Those existing lanes were a sticking point for meeting participants. The reasoning to convert the lanes to toll lanes is to entice private partnerships.

CDOT officials will be solidifying feedback in the coming weeks with grant awards expected by mid September.