Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content RAMBLIN' MAN: Didn't pay that E470 bill? No tag for you

By GARRISON WELLS The Gazette - Published: July 9, 2013

Eight El Paso County residents will get a surprise when they head to the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew their license plates in October.

Until they pay up on their E470 toll road debt, they won't get tags.

E470 is 47 miles of macadam that loops around Denver to the east, provides a fast route to Denver International Airport and rides a mountain of debt. As of March 31, it was $1.6 billion in the red, with about $5 million of that coming from unpaid tolls.

Piddly, by comparison, but every penny counts. And the state is doing the counting.

Eight motorists is a tiny group, but when you add up the road's debt from the state's "worst offenders," the total skyrockets to more than $1 million in tolls, fees and civil penalties from 2,030 vehicles with more than $200 average debt, according to the E470 Public Highway Authority.

On July 1, the offenders got a nudge from the state - "a letter in the mail from us explaining what their circumstances are and asking them in the kindest way possible to take care of these," said Dave Kristick, E470 deputy executive director and director of operations.

Expectations aren't exactly high that these folks will pay up.

"These are people that haven't responded to any of those bills since August of last year, to collection activities or civil penalty notices," Kristick said. "These are folks that we know we've given proper notice to. We've asked them on numerous occasions to pay the bill."

Mind you, El Paso County is not as bad as Aurora, whose residents have racked up the most toll-road debt.

Nor does anyone from the county owe as much as the highest individual account debt of $8,564.15.

Still, here's your chance.

The Department of Motor Vehicles is tough enough to handle without having them tell you no plates until you pay off the debt.

There's only eight of you.

Give them a call at 1-303-537-3470, option No. 4, then option No. 5. Or call the toll-free number, 1-888-946-3470.

Get it?

Toll free.

CONE ZONES

- The Black Forest fire displaced wildlife, so Colorado State Patrol troopers are cautioning drivers to be vigilant for animals crossing the interstate in the construction zone and in areas north of the Interstate 25 expansion project. Some of the wildlife have moved east toward the interstate.

- After a short break for Independence Day, construction work kicked back into high gear July 8 with nighttime lane and ramp closures for the I-25 expansion project. Plan to slow down in those areas north of Woodmen Road on the interstate in both directions. On the schedule is a temporary closure of the on-ramp from southbound North Academy Boulevard to northbound Interstate 25 from 8:30 p.m. Wednesday to 5:30 a.m. Thursday, and again from 8:30 p.m. Thursday to 5:30 a.m. Friday. The recommended detour is North Academy Boulevard to Voyager Parkway, Voyager Parkway to Briargate Parkway, and Briargate Parkway west to northbound I-25.

More construction information on the project is online at www.southi25expansion.com.

---

Dave Derryberry commented on my recent column about aggressive drivers:

"Too bad you didn't mention those who cruise in the left lane on the interstate. Am I an aggressive driver if:

I flash my headlights in their rear view mirror?

I honk my horn at them when I finally get a chance to pass, telling them they are breaking the law?

These drivers are also aggressive because they know that they are annoying others.

Too bad that law enforcement won't place them in a database and pay them a visit."

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