The department of transportation in Colorado has done a fine job of ensuring toll payments don’t interfere with vehicle movements. Most toll booths have been designed to collect toll payments electronically. It’s similar to California’s tolling system, which accepts various payment methods, including an electronic toll tag. Colorado tolling system is entirely electronic. It doesn’t get more convenient than that. Let’s get you familiar with the tolling system of the Centennial State.
This is the same as asking if there are any toll roads in Colorado and the answer is yes. Colorado has three toll roads and five express lanes where motorists pay designated toll rates while driving through. Almost every state in the US has toll roads because it’s one of the ways the government generates revenue.
The following roads make up the tolling network of the state of Colorado:
This highway covers the eastern section of the Denver- Aurora metropolis. It covers a distance of 76 kilometers. It also goes through parker, Douglas County, Brighton, Adams County, Arapahoe County, Aurora, Thorton, and Commerce City. This road also serves the Denver International Airport. This is the best route if you’re coming from the South or the North.
This toll road covers a distance of 31 kilometers and stretches from Cascade to the top of Pikes Peak in El Paso. Tourists frequently travel this route. This road is also used for motorbike and car racing.
This toll road covers a distance of 14 kilometers. It starts from around US 36 all the way to the interchange between Interstate 25 and E-470. The Northway Parkway alongside E-470 and State Highway 470 form part of the beltway around the Denver Metropolis.
These refer to the twin lanes on Interstate 25 between US 36 and Speer as well as between US 36 and 120th Avenue in the Downtown Area of Denver. During rush hours, these lanes are made accessible to motorists to save time on their travel. The southbound lane is made accessible in the mornings from 5 am to 11 am. On the other hand, the northbound lane is open from 12 pm to 3 pm.
These lanes cover a distance of roughly 20 km of the C-470 highway between Wadsworth Boulevard and Interstate 25. These lanes are made accessible at every hour of the day.
These lanes run from Boulder to Denver on Interstate 25. Precisely, it runs from Federal Boulevard in Westminster to Table Mesa Drive in Boulder. Each destination has its own Express lane, which runs alongside general lanes. These Express lanes connect to the Interstate 25 reversible lanes between Downtown Denver and US-36.
This road covers a distance of 19.3 km. It’s an eastbound lane from Empire via Veteran Memorial Tunnels bypassing Idaho Springs. This lane is only accessible during the weekend and holidays.
The C-70 Express lanes cover a distance of about 16 km on Interstate 70. It runs from Brighton Boulevard to Chambers Road. Tolls are not collected from motorists during the testing period.
The following are the ways to pay tolls in Colorado:
- ExpressToll: This electronic toll transponder is a convenient way of making toll payments. With the transponder installed on your vehicle, your toll fees will automatically be deducted from a prepaid account while driving through toll booths. You can use this method to pay tolls on Northwest Parkway, E-470, and Colorado Express Lanes. Frequent users of ExpressToll are eligible for discounts.
- GoPass: This is an alternative to ExpressToll and best used on designated GoPass Lanes. It will involve capturing the license plate number. Then, the bill will be mailed to the registered owner of the automobile. It’s not as instant as ExpressToll.
- License Plate Toll: This is an online toll payment system. It’s used on E-470.
To pay tolls online, we advise you to register and create an ExpressToll account by visiting expresstoll.com.
The toll rate varies based on the means of payment, time of travel, axle profile, and traffic congestion level. Motorists in 2-axle vehicles on the E-470 pay $2.60 on the mainline toll plaza A, $2.65 on the mainline toll plaza C, and $2.90 on mainline toll plazas B, D and E if they use ExpressToll. For the toll ramps, the fee is $1.25. These rates are higher for vehicles with three axles or a higher axle profile.
The toll fee on the E-470 is higher if you’re using a license plate toll to pay toll rates. For 2-axle vehicles, the toll fee is $4.20 on the mainline toll plaza A, $4.25 on the mainline toll plaza B, and $4.60 on mainline toll plazas B, D, and E. The rates are double the usual fee for 3-axle vehicles.
For I-25, the toll rate for 2-axle vehicles is $13.95 if you’re using ExpressToll and $22.25 for those using License Plate Toll.
One of the downsides of an electronic toll payment system is that certain motorists will default on toll payments. It could happen because of insufficient funds in the prepaid account (for ExpressToll customers). When this happens, the Colorado Department of Transportation will mail the owner of the vehicle their toll invoice, which will contain their toll fee, a fine, and instructions on how to pay the missed tolls. Motorists have the option to pay the tolls online, mail a check, or via phone (customer representative).
Unlike states like Florida, the toll rates in Colorado are quite on the high side. For this reason, we advise motorists to have a minimum balance of $50 constantly, and we also recommend using ExpressToll because its rates are lesser. Over time, you’ll pay discounted rates.