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Completion & Opening
The last section of the highway was not completed until late summer 1939. Although the road was not complete, traffic had used the highway during the summer. This last segment was located near Hancock in Delaware County. The road was concrete from Sparrowbush to Pond Eddy and from Doyle Hill to Hancock, with the remainder constructed of macadam. Two large viaducts, the one at Callicoon and the other over the Basket Creek near Long Eddy, were part of the final highway. In addition to the Hawk’s Nest, the other engineering feat was building the highway across the Cahoonshees Cut near Tusten.

As the highway neared completion, a great debate arose over the name of the roadway. As many as nine names were proposed but the three most popular seemed to be the Delaware Trail, the Tom Quick Trail, and the Minisink Trail. Editorials, articles, and letters to the editor all extolled the benefits of one name over the other. There was even a Tom Quick Trail Committee that promoted the Quick name. (Quick was an early settler and trapper who is said to have slain 99 Indians.) Some thought the Quick name was historic and would bring more tourists to the region while others were horrified that the road would be named for someone who had killed so many people. In the end, the state highway department weighed in with the news that highways were no longer given names—only numbers. This seemed to end the debate.

With the highway complete, a grand opening event to be held on August 30, 1939. The Executive Committee of the Route 97 Council, which had representatives from the areas through which the highway passed, handled the festivities. It had taken nine years since the first contract had been awarded and a ceremony that would be "one of the largest ever staged in the Delaware Valley" was planned.

Despite rain on August 30, the event was a success, with at least 300 hundred cars and over 2,000 people participating in the event. The celebration began in Port Jervis with a short parade, speeches, and ribbon cutting by the Mayors of Port Jervis and Hancock, the two towns connected by the highway. A motorcade of dignitaries then began its 72-mile journey up the Delaware Valley on Route 97. At each stop along the way, a ceremony with entertainment was held. Stops included Sparrowbush, Mongaup, Pond Eddy, Barryville, Minisink Ford, Narrowsburg, Cochecton, Callicoon, Hankins, and Long Eddy before reaching Hancock. It was planned that the motorcade would reach Hancock at 7:00 p.m. after leaving Port Jervis at 11:20 that morning. At Hancock more speeches were given before the festivities concluded.

The program noted that Route 97 had cost $4,100,000.00 to build and that most of the highway was built on new ground with very little of the route using old roadways. It recounted the engineering accomplishments of the highway including the Hawk’s Nest segment, the rock cut near Tusten and the valley spans at Callicoon and Long Eddy. It noted that it was a short route between metropolitan New York, western New York, and Pennsylvania.

The program also highlighted the road’s most significant qualities—its scenic beauty and the historic nature of the area that it traversed. It was prophesied that the road would be a popular one. "It presents every possible phase of landscape, hills and valleys, lakes and river, and mountains." It also alluded to the history of transportation in the region by proclaiming "this [Route 97] will again link the valley of the Hudson with the Delaware Valley as in the days of the old D. and H. Canal."

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