The Lake Mansfield Task Force plan for a recreational pathway and other lake area improvements is coming to fruition.

The 25 percent design concept can be viewed by going here. Anyone who reviews the plans is encouraged to complete a survey.

The Selectboard, in June 2019, voted to close Lake Mansfield Road to vehicle traffic between the boat launch and the beach area due to erosion and poor road condition alongside the lake. As a temporary measure, the Selectboard reduced this portion of the road to one lane, which is how it will remain until the full closure can be implemented.

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In 2020, Annual Town Meeting voters affirmed that decision and approved funds for engineering and designs for a vehicle-free, recreational thoroughfare on the shoreline section of Lake Mansfield Road. Vehicle access in this section will be allowed only for resident and pool club driveways and emergency vehicles.

The plans call for stabilizing the buffer zone around the lake to reduce stormwater, transforming the lakeside road into a multi-use recreational path, redesigning the parking lot and improving beach areas. Benches will be installed and fishing access improved. The open portion of the road north of the beach will be repaired to reduce flooding and stormwater runoff.

Town residents are invited to review the initial designs and take a walk along the road, where signs will be placed to indicate design changes.

Once design plans are complete, the task force will seek grants and other funds to the improvements.

Great Barrington Assistant Town Manager and Director of Planning, Chris Rembold made the following statement:

We hope everyone will take a look at the designs and help us work out the details. In the meantime, the existing one-way road scenario will remain for the next year or two, or until we can get enough funding to construct the improvements.

He said the town will have a better estimate of overall improvement costs by late this year.

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