Toll lanes along U.S. 36 between Denver and Boulder and a nearby segment of I-25 in Colorado will get a high-tech upgrade starting this fall as part of a test to more effectively relieve traffic tie-ups and provide more reliable travel times for motorists.
If it works in those heavily traveled stretches of highway, so-called dynamic tolling that sets prices based on traffic volume and speed could be rolled out to various other highway corridors in Colorado where similar toll lanes are currently being built or are in the planning stages, such as the Central 70 project in Globeville, the Gap project on I-25 south of Castle Rock and the soon-to-be expanded C-470 in Douglas County.
On Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) tolling authority board voted to begin a trial run of new roadway technology to monitor road conditions on U.S. 36 and a small portion of I-25 in downtown Denver starting this fall, with the hopes that it will get a permanent nod by 2020.
Dynamic tolling, which will be used alongside free general-purpose lanes, employs sensors and other measuring devices to gauge how much traffic is on the road at any given time and at what speed it is moving. If the system detects a slowdown in the managed lane, tolls go up to dissuade drivers from making the situation worse. When the managed lanes are moving freely, tolls decrease. Drivers are alerted to the price of using the managed lane by overhead signs before they enter the lane.
On the U.S. 36 and I-25 corridor between Boulder and Denver, concessionaire Plenary Roads Denver, which operates and maintains the highway under a public-private partnership arrangement with CDOT, will be installing radar devices and trip travel indicators, and will use existing tolling equipment to measure traffic volume and speeds on the roadway.
Source: The Denver Post