From idle farmland to an active retail and residential mecca, it's the past, present and future of Illinois 173.
"It used to be a corridor where I drove through to get to Rockford. (Now) it's stoplights, parking lots, stuff like that, which is ok," Kay Flanigan said.
Machesney Park's changes along 173 will soon carry even more shopping options. Along with Riverside Bank, Petsmart, Office Depot and Gordman's Department store are finalizing construction, and exciting future customers.
"Excited about the Petsmart. We have two dogs and four cats, so that'll be a great incentive for me to come up here," Kim Dobratz said.
"It'll take some of the traffic off State Street, and it helps people in Roscoe and the Rockton area. It gives us another alternative to go down on State Street," Linda Hatton said.
North of Route 173 on the Perryville Road extension, the growth is quite visible. This week, Showplace 14 will open its doors, ushering in a new Machesney Park movieplex era just in time for the summer blockbusters.
"I think it's great. Hopefully they'll have different times than the other Showplace 16, and then you'll have more opportunities on when you want to go," Hatton said.
More shopping and show time options are on the way this summer on Illinois 173.