US 36 Express Lanes Project


As the largest construction project in the state, the $497 million project created new Express Lanes, the US 36 Bikeway and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service from Denver to Boulder, along with other innovative investments. The project began in 2012 and was completed in Spring 2016. 

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.

The US 36 Express Lanes are now used for high-occupancy vehicles (HOV), tolled single-occupancy vehicles (SOV) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), greatly alleviating congestion and providing US 36 commuters with more travel choices.

Project Elements

  • 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.
  • 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 will allow buses to operate on the shoulders of US 36 between interchanges for decreased travel times.


State Audit Report on US 36 Express Lanes Project
US 36 Transportation Fact Sheet
Active Traffic Management
US 36 Express Lanes Project Fact Sheet
US 36 Bus Rapid Transit