8 miles of widened US 17 open near Beaufort

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - One of South Carolina 's deadliest highways should be safer.

The Beaufort Gazette reports local and state officials cut the ribbon Thursday on an improved 8-mile stretch of U.S. 17 near Beaufort.

At least 35 people have died on a 22-mile stretch of the old, narrow highway between Gardens Corner and Jacksonboro since 1997. A bus accident on the road almost seven years ago killed three sailors and injured 70.

The improvements widen the highway to four lanes and include an improved intersection where U.S. 21 leaves U.S. 17 heading south to Beaufort.

Final improvements on the full 22-mile stretch of road should be complete in two years.

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