Bypass around Stonewall, OK
Project Type:Bypass Project Mode:Highway Average Annual Daily Traffic:4,000 Length (mi):10.00
Economic Distress:0.80 Population Density (ppl/sq mi):50 Population Growth Rate (%):0.53
Employment Growth Rate (%):2.84 Market Size:16,937 Airport Travel Distance:101.033 Topography:4
Region:Southwest State:OK County:County
City:Stonewall Urban/Class Level:Rural Local Area:N/A
Impact Area:County Transportation System:N/A GIS Lat/Long:34.651099 / -96.526655
Initial Study Date:N/A Post Constr. Study Date:1997
Constr. Start Date:1991 Constr. End Date:1993
Project Year of Expenditure (YOE): N/A Planned Cost (YOE $):N/A
Actual Cost (YOE $):7,000,000 Actual Cost (curr $):10,742,131
NOTE: All pre/post dollar values are in 2013$
Select a region to display the conditions for that region:
NOTE: All impact dollar values are in 2013$
|Income (in $M's)||N/A||718156.00||N/A|
|Output (in $M's)||N/A||2093220.00||N/A|
The Stonewall, Oklahoma bypass is a roughly 10-mile bypass (State Highway 3) south of the town of Stonewall. The project was construction between 1988 and 1993 and cost approximately $7 million. The New State Highway 3, a limited-access highway, replaced the existing Old State Highway 3, which ran directly through the center of Stonewall on Main Street. While the town of Stonewall has experienced employment and population declines over the past two decades, the declines are not believed to be the direct result of the bypass. Instead, they can be attributed to other factors such as a regional decline in rural employment opportunities and regulations related to gas station underground tanks. Two new establishments, a feed store and oil pump maintenance shop, have located along Highway 3, in part because of the visibility and access for regional traffic. Employment at these establishments is roughly 25 jobs, which can be attributed to the bypass.
2.1 Location & Transportation Connections
Stonewall, Oklahoma is a small town located on State Highway 3 about 80 miles southeast of Oklahoma City and 108 miles southwest of Tulsa. The highway bypass runs south of town and the alignment of Old State Highway 3. Stonewall is a rural community, and is not served by any airport or interstate highway.
State Highway 3 runs roughly parallel to Old State Highway 3, the latter of which is Main Street in Stonewall. To the west of Stonewall, Highway 3 intersections with and then merges into U.S Highway 377 and State Highway 99 before heading northward to Interstate 40. To the east of Stonewall, State Highway 3 crosses State Highway 48 and then merges with southbound U.S Highway 75 before continuing along to the southeast corner of the State.
2.2 Community Character & Project Context
Stonewall, Oklahoma is a small town of 465 residents (2000) located in south-central Oklahoma. During the 1990's, Stonewall's population declined by about 10%. It is estimated that between 2000 and 2005, the population has grown by about 1%. In 1999, per capita income in Stonewall was $9,741, roughly half of the statewide per capita income. About 25.9% of the population lived below the poverty line.
Stonewall's central business district occupies three blocks of Main Street. Currently, it houses a dozen operating businesses, including a gas station, a Caf? and convenience store, a bank, a grocery market, a bar, a pizza shop, a post office, a hardware store, a gift shop, a new ice cream store, a restaurant, an auto repair shop, and a local satellite office of a local electrical contractor. Only the ice cream shop and the gift shop have opened since construction of the bypass.
The Stonewall Bypass project involved the construction of a new, higher capacity State Highway 3 that bypassed the town to the south. The bypass itself consists of roughly 10 miles of road constructed in two phases between 1988 and 1993. The first phase began in 1988 with grading, dirt leveling, and the construction of small bridges over the uneven terrain. In early 1992, the bypass was paved and surfaced and it was completed in 1993.The project cost roughly $7 million. The project replaced Old State Highway 3 that passed through Stonewall along Main Street.
The bypass was built to allow for more direct, efficient regional traffic and increased safety. Old State Highway 3 was narrow and curvy. It forced traffic through the center of Stonewall, which caused traffic to reduce speeds and posed a pedestrian safety hazard.
4.1 Transportation Impacts
The new State Highway 3 (S-3) allows for a safer, more efficient regional traffic flow. By avoiding the intersections along Main Street and allowing traffic to remain at highway speeds, it also increases safety for both drivers and residents. The new road remains a two-lane highway, but it is wider and straighter than the old route. Residents of Stonewall, however, have raised concern about the safety of the southeast intersection connecting the bypass with Old Highway 3, which has resulted in several accidents.
The average daily traffic count in 2007 along S-3, just south of Stonewall, was 4,000 vehicles. The average daily traffic count in 1995, the earliest available data, two years after the bypass was completed, was 3,000 vehicles, indicating a significant increase in traffic.
4.2 Demographic, Economic & Land Use Impacts
There is some debate about what role, if any, the bypass has had in the larger trend of employment and population decline that Stonewall has experienced over the last several decades. None of the stores along Main Street closed immediately following the bypass construction nor have any relocated to the edge of town along the new State Highway. However, as one resident described it, the lack of regional traffic means that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for Stonewall to attract investment and growth to stem the decline. The current businesses along Main Street serve a local customer base. As that customer base declines due to age and outward migration, the stores are increasingly struggling. While a few businesses, most notably a restaurant and service station, have shut down since the completion of the bypass, it is not believed that they closed as a direct result of the bypass. Other factors, such as retirement of business owners, were offered as the more likely reason.
Additionally, two post-bypass businesses have opened along Main Street (a shaved-ice shop opening in 2009 and a knick knack shop), both of which serve the local community. The spatial orientation of Stonewall's business district did not change after construction of the bypass. The downtown is not visible from the Stonewall exits along Highway 3, nor are there signs along the highway directing travelers to downtown businesses. Thus, non-local travelers are not aware of the services available in the town.
Two new businesses, an oil field pump repair shop and Cloverleaf Feed, have opened along the New State Highway 3 after the bypass was constructed. Visibility along S-3 was likely an important location decision factor for these enterprises, as they serve a regional customer base. The oil pump repair shop is a larger establishment with roughly 20-25 jobs, with employment fluctuating depending on the strength of the oil industry. Cloverleaf is a family owned store with a total of four employees. Overall, the new Highway 3 attracted an estimated 25 jobs to the Stonewall region.
The general trend of economic decline in rural America is likely the largest factor affecting the economic trends in Stonewall. Specific to Oklahoma is the decline in gas stations across rural parts of the state, due in part to new underground storage tank (UST) regulations. Stonewall at one time had four gas stations and now has only one. The Stonewall experience is consistent with national trends. Small independent gas retailers are closing down due to broader economic and regulatory conditions and increased competition from large retail chains.
Rogers, Cynthia L. and Richard Marshment Measuring Highway Bypass Impacts on Small Town Business Districts. Department of Economics, City and Regional Planning University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Oklahoma Department of Transportation Official State Maps
American Fact Finder, 2000 and 1990 US Census http://factfinder.census.govhttp://www.okladot.state.ok.us/aadtcnt/Default.aspx?list=allYearly http://www.okcommerce.gov/ http://www.idcide.com/citydata/ok/stonewall.htm http://www.pontotoccountyclerk.org/-
OrganizationChamber of Commerce Stonewall City Hall Ponotoc County ODOT Oklahoma DOT