US 36 Express Lanes Project

As the largest construction project in the state, the $497 million undertaking will create new Express Lanes, the US 36 Bikeway and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service from Denver to Boulder and other innovative investments. The project began in 2012 and will be completed in early 2016. Visit the Construction Updates page to learn about progress on the US 36 Express Lanes Project.

In partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Regional Transportation District (RTD) and the Colorado High-Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), 36 Commuting Solutions and the US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition assembled funding from a variety of partners to reinvent US 36 into a multi-modal corridor.

Learn more about cash incentives available through the social marketing program to ride for free in the US 36 Express Lanes.

The Express Lanes will be used for High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV), tolled single-occupancy vehicles and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), greatly alleviating congestion and providing US 36 commuters with more choices. CDOT launched a new website and educational video in anticipation of the opening of the first phase of the US 36 Express Lanes Project this summer.

Project Elements

  • With high occupancy vehicles (HOV) and tolled vehicles sharing the new US 36 Express Lanes, a new switchable HOV pass will be introduced when the lanes open this summer.
  • Active Traffic Management means that commuters will see digital signs displaying current traffic conditions. The information is collected in real time from cameras and vehicle detectors along the road.
  • Constructing an Express Lane in each direction between Pecos Street and Table Mesa Drive for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) and tolled Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOV).
  • Reconstructing the general purpose lanes in each direction.
  • Widening the highway to accommodate 12-foot-wide inside and outside shoulders.
  • Replacing the Wadsworth Parkway, Wadsworth Boulevard (at 112th Avenue), Lowell Boulevard and Sheridan Boulevard bridges, and the US 36 bridge over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.
  • Replacing the Coal Creek bridge, rehabilitating and widening the South Boulder Creek bridge, and widening the McCaslin Boulevard bridge to accommodate a diverging diamond interchange.
  • Adding BRT improvements including new electronic display signage at stations and bus priority improvements at ramps.
  • Building lanes for buses on the shoulders of US 36 between interchanges to decrease bus travel time.
  • Installing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for tolling, transit and traveler information and incident management.
  • Installing a separate commuter bikeway along the entire corridor.
  • Adding Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) improvements, including new electronic display signage at stations and bus priority improvements at ramps. The improvements also will allow buses to operate on the shoulders of US 36 between interchanges to decrease bus travel time.


State Audit Report on US 36 Express Lanes Project
Northwest Rail Corridor Update
Active Traffic Management
US 36 Express Lanes Project Fact Sheet
RTD FasTracks Fact Sheet
US 36 Bus Rapid Transit