Photo Credit: Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

No carpooling required.

If you’re a driver in Denver, you know how quickly the stretch along I-70 from the Veterans Memorial Tunnels to Idaho Springs can get clogged with traffic on the weekends. Today, crews will do something about that – they’re breaking ground on a new Mountain Express Lane.

These lanes have earned the nickname of “the Lexus Lane.” The thought behind that is that those using the express lanes drive luxury vehicles.

According to the latest CDOT statistics, 88 percent of drivers who use express lanes drive regular cars like Ford, Toyota and Dodge.

15 percent of drivers use the express lanes during peak travel times. The more people that use these lanes, the more money CDOT raises to build more projects like this Mountain Express Lane.

Four years after opening a Mountain Express Lane on eastbound I-70, today is a groundbreaking for the westbound side.

The new express lane will run from the Veterans Memorial Tunnels to the Empire Junction exit. The project will take about 17 months.

CDOT spokesperson Tamara Rollison said, “We are reverting a shoulder into a travel lane. We have to rebuild the shoulder and make sure it can withstand the pressures and volume of traffic. There’s a lot of work that go into that.”

Even though the lane is being built on the shoulder, it will be a toll lane. In addition to creating that toll lane, there will be safety improvements including rock fall mitigation.