Gilliard requests name change for portion of Hwy. 17

VIDEO: Gilliard proposes new name for section of Hwy. 17

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A stretch of Highway 17 will soon have a new name if the Rep. Wendell Gilliard has his way.

Gilliard filed a resolution requesting the Department of Transportation rename the portion of Highway 17 between its intersection with Highway 26 to Harry Hallman, Jr. Boulevard, including the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge and its approach as "The Sweetgrass Skyway."

In the resolution, Gilliard wrote the effort would "honor the Lowcountry's history, geography, flora, people and blend of cultures." The name change would benefit the state's tourist industry by "highlighting this area's unique character" and would "stand as the jewel in the federally designated Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage corridor," the resolution states.

The resolution also requests appropriate markers be erected along the seven-mile stretch of Highway 17.

Sweetgrass basket weaving is the official state craft of South Carolina, and is said to have originated along the Carolina dunes where the plants grow.

The Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor stretches from Wilmington, N.C. to St. Augustine, Fla. The culture is known as "Gullah" in the Palmetto State and "Geechee" in Florida and Georgia.

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