Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | 10:37 a.m.
The National Park Service plans to temporarily close Saddle Cove Road at Lakeshore Road, a popular path for fishermen going to Lake Mead, until a third water pipeline is built.
The Saddle Cove Road closure begins Thursday and is expected to last until December 2012 when the Southern Nevada Water Authority expects to complete a third, deeper pipeline or "straw" to supply Las Vegas residents and visitors with drinking water. There are two existing pipelines.
Saddle Island, where water is drawn from Lake Mead and treated, on the west shore of the lake is about five miles northwest of Hoover Dam and about 20 miles east of the center of Las Vegas. Severe drought has led to declines in water levels at Lake Mead. Projections by the Bureau of Reclamation say that the lake may decline even further, creating the need for a third supply line.
The water authority will build traffic improvements, including a truck deceleration and turning lane, at the intersection of Saddle Cove Road and Lakeshore Road. Traffic related to the pipeline project with enter and leave the site through this entrance.
The River Mountain Loop Trail runs outside the the construction area and will not be closed during the construction, the park service said.