Lance from Thornton writes, "The I-25 HOV lanes are still not open. Why in the world does CDOT focus on building a pretty fence and not focus on getting the north end HOV lanes open? It's ridiculous. The lanes just sit there no closer to opening and yet we're building a bloody fence."
Lance, you are about to be rewarded for your patience. In October of 2013, CDOT began the project on I-25 north to create an express/HOV lane on both sides of the highway. At the same time, they lowered I-25 under 88th Ave to hopefully eliminate the frequent "semi-trucks hitting the bridge" crashes every year. The new express/HOV lanes will connect directly with the existing I-25 express/HOV lanes leading into and out of downtown Denver.
I received an update from CDOT at the end of February that indicated that the project is approximately 90 percent complete. They say that all the paving and overhead sign installation is complete. They say they are focusing on the HOV connectors, final striping, and as you mentioned, the sound wall construction.
Since you specially mentioned the sound walls -- here is an update. The new sound walls have been installed along northbound I-25 between Hwy 36 and 84th Ave and next to the bike path between 104th Ave and 120th Ave. Construction of new sound walls along southbound I-25 is underway between 120th Ave and Thornton Pkwy. These walls are expected to be complete by the end of March.
Here is me burying the lead. CDOT expects the express/HOV lanes to be intermittently open to the public by mid-March. They expect to start paid tolling late in the spring. From March to May, you will be able to use the express lanes free of charge while CDOT tests the tolling software and equipment.
This project was originally scheduled to be done in October 2015, but the project has been extended so additional sound walls could be put in place.
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