Rt. 173 Exit Now Open

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An already booming 173 corridor is going to get bigger. Several big box retailers have already claimed some of this land. And there's even more projects underway.

"We've talked to a lot of the hotel chains some of the big gas stations so we're hoping something would happen here soon," says Machesney Park Village President Linda Vaughn.

Some developers find Rt. 173 a hot place to invest. It's now accessible from both directions on I-90 and it's on the way to and from popular tourist destinations.

"With the price of gas, why can't we get them to stop here use our state park, go camping around here. Why not make Rockford a destination rather than going to Wisconsin," says Sunil Puri from First Rockford Group.

Not only does the 173 exit open up more opportunities for Machesney Park, but will bring more growth to Boone County.

"We know there's many plans for residential growth and some of that will be good for our county, we're not encouraging that because we a have a lot of people to take care of right now," says Boone County Chairwoman Cathy Ward.

After 30 years of planning and 30-million federal, state and tollway dollars, many hope this new exit ramp will serve as a catalyst to our economy.

State Senator Dave Syverson says he hopes the legislature will pass a 10-million dollar capitol improvements plan during special session. This money will go towards widening 173 from 251 to I-90.

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