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E-470 marker

Route information
Maintained by E-470 Public Highway Authority
Length: 46.950 mi[1] (75.559 km)
Existed: 1991 – present
Major junctions
South end: I-25 / US 87 / SH 470 in Lone Tree

I-70 / US 36 / US 40 / US 287 in Aurora
I-76 / US 6 in Commerce City

US 85 in Brighton
North end: I-25 / US 87 / Northwest Parkway in Thornton
Highway system
Colorado State Highways
SH 470 US 491

E-470 is a 47-mile-long (76 km) controlled-access toll road traversing the eastern portion of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area in the US state of Colorado. The toll road is not a state 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. As of 2014, 86% of its revenues were derived from tolls.

Route description[edit]

E-470 provides an alternate north–south route to Interstate 25 (I-25) for travelers wishing to bypass the eastern side of Metropolitan Denver area. The tollway begins at the I-25 / SH 470 interchange in Lone Tree and runs east and north through Aurora, passing east of Buckley Air Force Base before intersecting with I-70. The highway continues north, passing west of Denver International Airport to connect with I-76 in Brighton and Commerce City before curving west and ending at an interchange with I-25 and the Northwest Parkway in Thornton.

The 470 beltway[edit]

E-470 is the eastern portion of what was originally conceived as I-470, an outer beltway for metropolitan Denver. 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, 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, non-voting members of the Authority, which the highway does not directly serve, are the cities of Arvada, Lone Tree and Greeley, and Weld County and the City and County of Broomfield. Ex-officio members are the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Denver Regional Council of Governments and the Regional Transportation District. The authority is headquartered in Aurora.


The toll rate on E-470, roughly 36 cents per mile (22 ¢/km), is one of the highest rates of any toll road in the United States.[2][3] There are five toll stations along the 47-mile (76 km) route and the average toll to pass each is $3.33.[2] Traveling the entire length of the road from I-25 in the north to I-25 in the south (or vice versa) costs $13.25 for ExpressToll customers, and $16.65 for those without a transponder. The toll stations no longer accept cash; E-470 was one of the first highways in the United States to implement full highway-speed electronic tolling.[4] 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 C.R.S 43-4-506.5 (6)(a).[5] Failure to pay the bill on time results in a $5 late fee after 30 days, followed by a $15 collection fee after 60 days, and a $25 penalty after a total of five months, and then an additional $20 court charge after six months totaling a maximum penalty of $65 for each unpaid set of tolls.[6]

Drivers with EXpressToll accounts, E-470's automated toll collection service, and transponders mounted on their vehicle save 20% on posted toll rates along E-470.[7]

Rental car companies at Denver International Airport have been accused of over-charging unwitting visitors for unpaid tolls because of the road's cashless collection system.[8]

ExpressToll has been accused of running a legal racket by not sending out some first notices. This results in customers receiving a second notice that is full of late fees.[9]


Plans for this eastern extension of State Highway 470 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 U.S.

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 United States 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, Colorado 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. By 2004 this interchange proved too inadequate for the traffic it was receiving. The Fly-By was completed in 2006 and allows customers to bypass the signals if continuing on E-470. Traffic going to or from I-70 still uses the old road and intersections, although E-470 is currently in the process of designing a direct connection with I-70. In 2007, Ramp H was completed, providing a direct connection from northbound E-470 to westbound I-70. 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]

Exit list[edit]

County Location mi[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
Douglas Lone Tree 0.000 0.000 1A I-25 – Denver, Colorado Springs
SH 470
Southern terminus of E-470; roadway continues as west SH 470; I-25 exit 194
  1B Jamaica Street to County Line Road Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
  1.711 2.754 2 Peoria Street – Centennial Airport
  2.700 4.345 Toll Plaza A
Stonegate 3.502 5.636 3 Chambers Road
StonegateParker city line 4.380 7.049 4 Jordan Road – Parker
Parker 5.180 8.336 5 SH 83 (Parker Road) – Parker, Centennial, Aurora
Arapahoe Aurora 8.887 14.302 9 Gartrell Road
10.683 17.193 10 Smoky Hill Road
13.352 21.488 13 Quincy Avenue – Aurora
16.150 25.991 Toll Plaza B
16.451 26.475 16 Jewell Avenue to Iliff Avenue
19.000 30.578 19 6th Parkway
ArapahoeAdams county line 20.375 32.790 20 I-70 / Colfax Avenue, 19th Avenue, Gun Club Road – Limon, Aurora, Denver Northbound exits signed as 20A (east) and 20B (west), southbound exit 20, no toll either direction. I-70 exit 289.
Adams 22.610 36.387 Toll Plaza C
24.477 39.392 24 56th Avenue – Front Range Airport
25.523 41.075 25 64th Avenue
City and County of Denver 27.849 44.819 28 Peña Boulevard – Denver International Airport Signed as exits 28A (east) and 28B (west); Peña Boulevard exit 6
Adams Commerce City Toll Plaza D
30.562 49.185 31 96th Avenue
32.678 52.590 32 104th Avenue
34.130 54.927 34 To I-76 west / 120th Avenue
Commerce CityBrighton city line 35.491 57.117 35 I-76 east – Fort Morgan Northbound exit to eastbound I-76 and southbound entrance from westbound I-76, exit 18.
Brighton 38.465 61.903 38 US 85 to I-76 west – Brighton, Greeley, Commerce City, Denver
Todd Creek 40.220 64.728 Toll Plaza E
Thornton 41.710 67.126 41 Quebec Street Opened on November 24, 2014[14]
43.817 70.517 43 Colorado Boulevard – Thornton
44.843 72.168 45 York Street
47 I-25 – Fort Collins, Denver
Northwest Parkway
Northern terminus of E-470; roadway continues west as Northwest Parkway; I-25 exit 228
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Staff. "Highway Data". Colorado Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 2007.  Note that not every interval between mileposts is exactly a mile, explaining why more exits than expected are at the exact milepost.
  2. ^ a b Staff (2011). "Calculating Tolls". E-470 Public Highway Authority. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  3. ^ Lewis, Al (January 1, 2006). "Toll roads: Future fodder for the Junk Bond Market: Roads take their toll on wallets". The Denver Post. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ Staff (2011). "How E-470 Works". E-470 Public Highway Authority. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  5. ^ Staff (2005). "C.R.S 43-4-506.5 (6)(a)". Colorado Revised Statutes. Colorado General Assembly. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ Staff (2011). "Tolls". E-470 Public Highway Authority. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ Staff (2011). "EXpress Toll". E-470 Public Highway Authority. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Cashless E-470 takes toll on rental-car drivers in the form of fines". The Denver Post. November 29, 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ "E-470 toll rates to go up". The Denver Post. November 17, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2015. 
  10. ^ Staff (2011). "History". E-470 Public Highway Authority. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ Colorado Revised Statutes §§ 43-4-501 et seq.
  12. ^ "Wikipedia declares DNT and E470 both 'first' in electronic tolling". TollRoadsNews. August 19, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  13. ^ "E-470 Historical Fact File" (PDF). E-470 Website. E-470 Public Highway Authority. Retrieved February 14, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Hendee, Caitlin (November 24, 2014). "E-470 interchange in Thornton opens". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved November 24, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google