Colorado’s Ten Most Congested Roads — And What They’re Costing Us

Jul 15, 2021 | Driving Safety

Congested roads and highways cost Colorado drivers $3.5 billion a year in lost time and wasted fuel, according to a new economic report. And the rising traffic is having an impact not only on motorists’ wallets but on the quality of life in the Centennial State and its economic health.

The report, “Keeping Colorado Mobile,” was released by TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit. It confirms and quantifies what frustrated drivers have known for some time — that vehicle travel in Colorado has increased substantially in recent years (up 31 percent from 2000 to 2019, the ninth highest rate of increase in the country). Although the pandemic shutdown interrupted that trend, traffic volume has been on the rebound since late last year; nationally, the number of fatal traffic accidents actually increased last year.

According to the report, traffic delays cost the average Denver driver $1242 a year, or 26 gallons of wasted fuel and 62 hours lost to congestion. Congestion costs Colorado Springs drivers $838 a year and Pueblo drivers $431. The report’s authors call for increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state, and federal level to fight the problem.

Fighting congestion is no easy matter, of course. But by planning ahead and limiting your trips at peak travel times, you can try to avoid the major bottlenecks and become a part of the solution. Here is the TRIP list of Colorado’s ten most congested highway segments, based on measured volume of traffic carried by a roadway compared to its capacity.

ROUTELOCATIONSEGMENTAVG. DAILY TRAFFIC
SH 470LittletonSanta Fe Dr to Yosemite104,959
I-25DenverHampden to Speer Blvd236,182
Parker Rd.AuroraHampden to Dartmouth79,662
Arapahoe Rd.AuroraI-25 to Parker Road65,656
I-25Lone TreeLincoln Ave to Hampden242,249
I-70VailChaonix Rd to Vail Rd45,000
Santa Fe DriveLittletonBlakeland Dr to Mineral Ave43,455
Powers BlvdCO SpringsFountain Blvd to Platte Ave61,909
Santa Fe DriveEnglewoodHampden Ave to I-2593,128
Federal BlvdWestministerSH 36 to 104th Ave39,047

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