E-470

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E-470

Map of the Denver metropolitan area with C-470 in red and E-470 in green
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-70
Maintained by E-470 Public Highway Authority
Length46.950 mi[1] (75.559 km)
Existed1991–present
Major junctions
South end I-25 / US 87 / SH 470 in Lone Tree
Major intersections
North end I-25 / US 87 / Northwest Parkway in Thornton
Location
CountryUnited States
StateColorado
CountiesDouglas, Arapahoe, Denver, Adams
Highway system
  • Colorado State Highway System
SH 470 US 491

E-470 is a 47-mile-long (76 km) controlled-access toll road that traverses the eastern portion of the Denver metropolitan area in the US state of Colorado. It is the eastern half of the 470 beltway that serves Meridian, Parker, Aurora, Denver International Airport, and Brighton.

The toll road is neither a state highway nor an Interstate Highway but is instead owned and maintained by the E-470 Public Highway Authority, which is controlled by a governing board of eight elected officials of eight local governments. Construction and operation involves no state or federal funding or taxes, with the exception of a $10 fee[2] originally charged on vehicle registrations for residents of Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas counties. Historically, 86±2% of the road's revenues have come from tolls.[3]

Route description

E-470 near Denver International Airport at the interchange with Peña Boulevard

E-470 provides an alternate north–south route to Interstate 25 (I-25) for travelers wishing to bypass the eastern side of the Denver metropolitan area. The tollway begins at the I-25/State Highway 470 (SH 470, C-470) interchange in Lone Tree and runs east through an unincorporated community of Meridian and south of the Centennial Airport. It then passes through the north side of Parker, interchanging with SH 83 (Parker Road) before continuing east to Southlands, an outdoor mall in southeast Aurora. It then turns north through Aurora, passing east of Buckley Space Force Base before interchanging with I-70, forming a fly-by interchange. The highway continues north, passing west of Denver International Airport and interchanging with Peña Boulevard at a full cloverleaf interchange to provide travelers access to the airport from the tollway. E-470 then continues north and then turns to the west, entering the outskirts of Brighton and interchanging with I-76 and then U.S. Highway 85 (US 85) near the unincorporated community of Henderson before reaching the northern end at the interchange with I-25, where the toll road continues west as Northwest Parkway north of Thornton.

The quasi-government entity that manages the highway, the E-470 Public Highway Authority, consists of eight member jurisdictions: Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties and the cities of Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City, and Thornton and the town of Parker. In addition to all of these jurisdictions, E-470 also passes through the city and county of Denver near Denver International Airport. Affiliate, nonvoting members of the Authority, which the highway does not directly serve, are the cities of Arvada, Lone Tree, and Greeley; Weld County; and the city and county of Broomfield. Ex officio members are the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), the Regional Air Quality Council, and the Regional Transportation District (RTD). The authority is headquartered in Aurora.

Tolls

The toll rate on E-470 for vehicles that do not have ExpressToll automated toll transponders is roughly $0.37 per mile ($0.23/km). In addition to 17 ramp toll interchanges, there are five mainline toll stations along the 47-mile (76 km) route and the non-discounted passenger car toll to pass each mainline station is either $4.15 or $4.50; the discounted rates are $2.70 or $2.95.[4] Drivers with ExpressToll accounts, E-470's automated toll collection service, and transponders mounted on their vehicle save 20 percent on posted toll rates along E-470.[5] The toll stations no longer accept cash; E-470 was one of the first highways in the US to implement full highway-speed electronic tolling.[6] Regarding License Plate Toll (for vehicles without ExpressToll transponders), cameras at each station photograph the front and rear license plate of each vehicle. A bill is mailed after approximately 30 days to the registered owner of the vehicle in accordance with state law.[7] The License Plate Toll statement must be paid in full by the due date or a second statement with a one-time $5 late fee will be mailed. If payment is still not received, a third statement is sent with no additional fees. If the account remains unpaid for more than 90 days, the account becomes delinquent and all overdue toll transactions will be sent to a collections law firm for up to four months in an attempt to find the customer and collect payment. The unpaid tolls, the $5 late fee, and a one-time $20 collection fee are due at this time. If payment is still not received, a Civil Penalty Assessment Notice will be mailed for the unpaid tolls, the $5 late fee, the $20 collection fee, and a $25 Civil Penalty per notice. Upon receipt of this document, the customer may request a hearing. If the full payment of the Civil Assessment Notice has not been received in 30 days, a Hearing Officer's Final Notice is issued to include the unpaid tolls, the $5 late fee, the $20 collection fee, the $25 Civil Penalty, and a $20 Court Fee, totaling a maximum of $70 of fees and penalties for each unpaid set of tolls.[8][citation needed]

Rental car companies at Denver International Airport have been accused of overcharging unwitting visitors for unpaid tolls because of the road's cashless collection system.[9]

History

E-470 is the eastern portion of what was originally planned as Interstate 470 (I-470), a full outer beltway for the Denver metropolitan area proposed by CDOT in the 1960s. After the completion of SH 470, plans for the eastern extension gained momentum in the 1980s, as Denver moved forward with plans for a new international airport in its corridor. Recognizing the highway's development potential, a number of local governments joined together to create the E-470 Public Highway Authority, a quasi-governmental entity that would construct the highway. In 1987, the Public Highway Authority Law was passed by the Colorado State Legislature, giving the E-470 Public Highway Authority the power to do everything needed to plan, design, finance, construct, and operate the toll highway.[10][11] The highway would be financed through tolls, a relative rarity in the western US.

The first section, between I-25 in the south and Parker Road in Douglas County, opened to traffic June 1, 1991. Tolling began on July 15, making E-470 the first highway in the US to implement open road electronic tolling.[12] The highway was opened segment by segment until the final stretch connecting to I-25 in the north in Adams County opened on January 3, 2003.[13]

E-470 at I-76

In its early years, traffic was light as the completed portion was short and traversed a largely undeveloped area. With the opening of Denver International Airport in 1995, E-470 came in as a direct route to the airport from the rapidly growing southern tier of the metropolitan area. Upon its completion, the highway provided the same access for northern Colorado, itself a high-growth area. However, perhaps the most significant growth in the region will occur in the E-470 corridor itself, which spawned numerous annexations by member cities; Commerce City has doubled in land area in anticipation of this new development. In the coming decades, 250,000 new residents are expected along the E-470 corridor in Aurora alone, which would nearly double that city's population.

Up until 2006, E-470 had four signalized intersections with I-70 and its outer roads, which often got congested at peak hours. In 2006, the E-470 mainline was relocated about one-quarter mile (0.40 km) to the west to bypass the traffic signals and provide free-flowing conditions for toll customers. Ramp traffic accessing I-70 continues to use the signalized interchange, except for northbound E-470 to westbound I-70 traffic, which uses a flyover ramp. The I-70/E-470 Fly-By Interchange Complex in Aurora was recognized by the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) with a National Design Build Award in 2008.

In November 2014, an additional interchange opened at Quebec Street in Thornton.[14]

In April 2016, E-470 started construction work to widen an eight-mile (13 km) stretch of the toll road to three lanes in each direction between Parker Road and Quincy Avenue in southeastern Aurora. The $90-million (equivalent to $106 million in 2022[15]) project was completed December 2017.[16] According to the 2015 E-470 Annual Report (page 3), "The widening is being constructed now to get ahead of the curve on future traffic volume, which has had double-digit growth in each of the past three years."

Exit list

CountyLocation[17]mi[1]kmExitDestinationsNotes
DouglasLone Tree0.0000.000
SH 470 west – Grand Junction
Continuation west
1A I-25 – Denver, Colorado SpringsWestbound exit and eastbound entrance; other movements via SH 470 exit 26; I-25 exit 194; stack interchange
Meridian0.5060.8141BJamaica Street to County Line RoadWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
1.7112.7542 Peoria Street – Centennial Airport
Parker2.7004.345Toll Gantry A
3.5025.6363Chambers Road
4.3807.0494Jordan Road – Parker
5.1808.3365 SH 83 (Parker Road) – Parker, Centennial, Aurora
ArapahoeAurora8.88714.3029Gartrell Road
10.68317.19310Smoky Hill Road
13.35221.48813Quincy Avenue – Aurora
16.15025.991Toll Gantry B
16.45126.47516Jewell Avenue to Iliff Avenue
19.00030.578196th Parkway
ArapahoeAdams
county line
20.37532.79020 I-70 / Colfax Avenue, 19th Avenue, Gun Club Road – Limon, Aurora, DenverNorthbound exits signed as 20A (east) and 20B (west), southbound exit 20, no toll either direction. I-70 exit 289.
Adams22.61036.38722The Aurora Highlands Parkway[18]Northbound exit and entrance
Toll Gantry C
23372348th AvenueAs of December 2022, construction on this added interchange slated to be completed in 2025.[19]
24.47739.39224 56th Avenue – Colorado Air and Space Port
25.52341.0752564th Avenue
City and County of Denver27.84944.81928 Peña Boulevard – Denver International AirportSigned as exits 28A (east) and 28B (west); Peña Boulevard exit 6
AdamsCommerce City29.80747.970Toll Gantry D
30.56249.1853196th Avenue
32.67852.59032104th Avenue
34.13054.92734

To I-76 west / 120th Avenue
Brighton35.49157.11735
I-76 east – Fort Morgan
Northbound exit to eastbound I-76 and southbound entrance from westbound I-76, exit 18.
38.46561.90338

US 85 to I-76 west – Brighton, Greeley, Commerce City, Denver
Todd Creek40.22064.728Toll Gantry E
Thornton41.71067.12641Quebec StreetOpened on November 24, 2014[14]
43.81770.51743Colorado Boulevard – Thornton
44.84372.16845York Street
AdamsBroomfield
county line
ThorntonBroomfield line46.39874.67047 I-25 – Fort Collins, DenverI-25 exit 228
46.95075.559Northwest Parkway west – Broomfield, BoulderContinuation west
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References

  1. ^ a b Colorado Department of Transportation (n.d.). Highway Data Explorer (Map). Colorado Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  2. ^ Snowdon, Quincy (March 9, 2015). "E-470 toll-road license fees should end in 2018, says Aurora mayor". Aurora Sentinel. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  3. ^ "Investor Relations". E-470. Retrieved 2022-11-29.. A notable exception being 2020 where 82% of revenue came from tolls as a result of the significantly reduced traffic caused by Colorado's COVID-19 lockdowns.
  4. ^ E-470 Public Highway Authority (2018). "E‐470's 2018 Toll Rates" (PDF). E-470 Public Highway Authority. Retrieved July 18, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ E-470 Public Highway Authority (2011). "ExpressToll". E-470 Public Highway Authority. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ E-470 Public Highway Authority (2011). "How E-470 Works". E-470 Public Highway Authority. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Colorado General Assembly (2005). "Traffic Laws—Toll Collection". Colorado Revised Statutes. Colorado General Assembly. § 43-4-506.5 (6)(a). Retrieved June 29, 2016 – via LexisNexis.
  8. ^ E-470 Public Highway Authority (2011). "Tolls". E-470 Public Highway Authority. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Cashless E-470 Takes Toll on Rental-Car Drivers in the Form of Fines". The Denver Post. November 29, 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  10. ^ E-470 Public Highway Authority (2011). "History". E-470 Public Highway Authority. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Colorado General Assembly (2005). "Public Highway Authority Law". Colorado Revised Statutes. Colorado General Assembly. §§ 43-4-501 et seq. Retrieved June 29, 2016 – via LexisNexis.
  12. ^ Samuels, Peter (August 19, 2012). "Wikipedia Declares DNT and E470 Both 'First' in Electronic Tolling". TollRoadsNews. Archived from the original on June 1, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  13. ^ E-470 Public Highway Authority. "E-470 Historical Fact File" (PDF). E-470 Public Highway Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 17, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ a b Hendee, Caitlin (November 24, 2014). "E-470 Interchange in Thornton Opens". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  15. ^ Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2023). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved December 19, 2023. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the Measuring Worth series.
  16. ^ "E-470 widening project complete". highlandsranchherald.net. December 7, 2017. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  17. ^ Geography Division (2016). "Colorado Governmental Unit Reference Map". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  18. ^ "The Aurora Highlands Parkway". Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  19. ^ Kirk, Alexander (2022-09-21). "11-mile E-470 widening project is about to begin: The last widening project on E-470, from Quincy Ave to I-70, was completed in 2021". KUSA (TV). Retrieved 2022-12-16.

External links