The Murray City Council voted unanimously Thursday to close a portion of Olive Street to prepare for construction of the new Engineering and Physics building.
Kim Oatman, chief Facilities Management officer, said the recommended section to shut down runs from the intersection of 16th Street to 140 feet east of the intersection of Broach Street.
Oatman said the University owns the property on both sides of the section of street it has proposed to close.
“That intersection is heavily congested with pedestrians at certain times of day, so it is dangerous at times,” Oatman said.
Closing the intersection of 16th and Olive will force traffic to other streets, but Oatman said pedestrian safety in the Olive Street area will improve.
“The closure will allow Murray State to follow through with its plan for constructing a state funded building, the Engineering and Physics building,” he said.
The groundbreaking for the Engineering and Physics building isn’t scheduled yet, but Oatman said he believes it will happen this fall or early next year.
Construction on the new building, located southeast of the Jesse D. Jones Hall is projected to take between 16 and 18 months, according to Oatman.
The University would like to have the street closed by the Spring 2015 semester.