image description
Gulf Road was reopened last week after a washout caused by a stopped up culvert was repaired. The seasonal road had closed two years.
image description
The city of Pittsfield pulled two logs out of the culvert and repaired the dirt road.

Gulf Road in Dalton and Lanesborough Re-Opens

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story
One of two logs pulled out of the culvert. Beavers were initially blamed for the flooding.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — After being closed for more than two years, Gulf Road reopened on Wednesday for the season.
For the last week, the town Highway Department has been clearing up fallen trees and graded the stretch of road on both its side and Dalton's side on Wednesday, Lanesborough Department of Public Works Director Charlie Durfee said. 
The seasonal dirt road closed because of flooding caused by what was initially thought to be from a beaver dam that was located on the Pittsfield stretch. 
It was initially assessed that the beavers were blocking the culvert, but this may have been incorrect, Pittsfield City Engineer Tyler Shedd said.
"The logs were clean-cut on each end, which suggested they were cut by a chainsaw," Shedd said 
The road often serves as a shortcut between Lanesborough and Dalton by drivers to avoid retail-related traffic at Allendale Plaza and Berkshire Crossing in Pittsfield. It runs about 1.7 miles from Route 8 near the Connector Road in Lanesborough, through Pittsfield and around the Boulders Reserve and comes out in Dalton, where it turns into High Street. 
A pool of water overtook the roadway last year, causing surface damage. The flowing water eroded the gravel road, creating rills and gullies that cut into the roadway, Shedd said.
The Pittsfield Department of Public Works started to unblock a culvert and repair the road in mid-December.
The city ran into some delays because the area is mapped as an Estimated Habitat of Rare Wildlife by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, Pittsfield Conservation Agent Robert Van Der Kar said.
This required that the city obtain a permit with the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act before removing the debris obstructing the culverts, he said. 
When work to remove the woody debris started, the department discovered that there were two 10-inch diameter logs about 3 or 4 feet long that had made their way into the pipe under the road.
A laborer from the Highway Division waded into the pool and used a pry bar to extract the first log that was nearest the inlet to the pipe. 
When the water run increased but was still not free-flowing, they discovered the second log at the outlet end of the pipe. 
They used the pry bar once again to dislodge the log and guided it through the pipe, where it was collected and removed from the stream channel, Shedd said. 
It is unclear what the exact cost was to repair the road. The "Highway Division purchases and keeps certain materials on hand, like loam, crushed stone, and gravel, to make repairs such as this," Shedd said. 
It took approximately three crew members from the highway division a full eight hours to clear and repair the road, along with about eight hours of work by a city engineer. 
"I would characterize the cost as minor in the context of the Department of Public Services and Utilities budget," Shedd said. 

Tags: road damage,   

If you would like to contribute information on this article, contact us at

John Goerlach Thanked for 18 Years of Service to Lanesborough

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — John Goerlach was presented with his nameplate for the Select Board and thanked for his nearly two decades of service to the town.

Monday's Select Board meeting began with a baton passing of sorts as newly elected Deborah Maynard started her term and town officials marked Goerlach's departure.

He served Lanesborough for 18 years; first elected in 2006, he did not seek re-election this year.

"You've been an influence and a mentor to me as I joined the board and I'll never forget that," Chair Michael Murphy said. "I value the friendship we've developed as well as the professional relationship."

At the annual town meeting earlier this month, voters approved an article that expands the number of Select Board members from three to five. The home-rule petition has to be approved by the Legislature and did not affect this election.

"I'm sorry you're going. When we expand to five members next year, I'd love to welcome you back," Murphy said, and Goerlach joked that he would save the nameplate for that time.

Select Board member Timothy Sorrell, the town's former police chief, has worked with Goerlach in varied capacities.

"John, it's been quite the run you and I have had over these years," he said.

"You've been a great friend, a fantastic servant to the town, and a fantastic leader. It's an honor and privilege to have known you, to be friends with you, and to work with you."

View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories