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Woods Hole Terminal Reconstruction Project

To report concerns about construction or environmental issues concerning the Woods Hole Terminal Reconstruction Project. Please call 508-289-4419 to be connected with either Bill Cloutier or another Authority staff member, should you have a concern that needs immediate attention. As always, you can also email Bill at bcloutier@steamshipauthority.com or call his office during work hours at 508-548-5011, ext. 429.

COVID-19 update

We have had several questions regarding the terminal work in light of the spread of the coronavirus. Here are a few updates for you:

  • Under all of Gov. Baker’s orders, construction – including specifically any public works construction – has been exempted from any prohibition against gatherings of a certain size or business shutdowns. We intend to adhere as closely as possible to the established construction schedule so as to have three slips available for operation by late May. We cannot predict what our operational needs will be this summer with the global uncertainty right now, so we are proceeding as planned with the project.
  • Jay Cashman intends to keep working on the project as long as they have the available personnel to do so; however, at the end of each working day, they are securing the site as if they are not returning for several weeks.

Week ending June 26, 2020

Marine contractor Jay Cashman Inc.’s barge crew completed their work on the site and the crane barge has left for the summer. Cashman’s landside crew worked on the transfer bridge details and on installing ladders on the sheet pile bulkhead. The electricians worked on power and communication for the site. They installed the fiber optic cable to the ticket booth and pulled wire for the strobe light. United Stone finished their work on the pavers for the passenger platform. Lawrence Lynch completed finished course of pavement for the work site.

This week, Cashman’s landside crew will be working on the monopile railings and support the railing installer. Electricians will continue with the electrical work for the site lighting and make the final electrical connections to get the slip operational. Lawrence Lynch Corp. will be installing the traffic bollards. The railing subcontractor is on site installing the railing on the passenger platform. The slip will be turned over for operation on July 1.

We have discontinued the vibration monitoring because all the pile driving was completed.

Phases 2 through 4 (Waterside Work) of the Terminal Reconstruction Project

At a special Board meeting on December 5, 2017, the SSA’s Board awarded the marine construction contract for the waterside work that will be completed in Phases 2 through 4 of the project to Jay Cashman, Inc., of Quincy, Massachusetts, for the Total Contract Price of $43,143,280.  As a result, we have now begun Phase 2 of our multi-year, phased construction project that will result in the complete reconstruction of our Woods Hole ferry terminal over the next six years.

The overall project entails the phased demolition of all of the existing waterfront structures that include the current three ferry slips and supporting utilities to be replaced with three new ferry slips, two passenger loading piers, and comprehensive utility and stormwater management improvements. Following the waterside construction, landside improvements include site re-grading, a new ferry terminal building and equipment storage building, bus berths and overall reconstruction of site utilities and vehicle accommodations.

Because we want to minimize the potential impact of the project’s construction activities on our own operations and adjacent property owners and local businesses, most of the onsite work will be accomplished in phases during “off-seasons” that will run from early September through mid-May each year.  Only one slip will be reconstructed at a time to ensure that we will always have two slips available to maintain our regular ferry service.  During each summer season, we will also have the third slip available so that we can berth three vessels at the terminal.  All construction activity at the terminal site will effectively cease during each summer season except for limited activity that does not have a material impact on either our operations or the Woods Hole community.

The first slip that will be reconstructed is Slip 3, which is the slip closest to the village and next to the Naushon Trust dock.  During Phase 2 of the project, it will be repositioned southwest so that its transfer bridge is located pretty much where the northwest side of the current ticket office is.  To accomplish this, we first need to reroute the power service for the slip, which comes out of the existing ticket office, and then demolish the existing ticket office and excavate the western portion of the wharf.  We will also remove the existing passenger loading/unloading systems on the wharf to the area between existing Slips 1 and 2, where we will construct a temporary passenger loading/unloading system next spring.

After the existing terminal building is demolished, we will begin excavating the building’s foundation and a portion of the wharf to allow for the docking of our ferries at that location.  By the commencement of the 2018 summer season, we expect to have excavated the building’s foundation but not to have had sufficient time to complete the excavation of the wharf.  The excavation will then continue next fall and all of the remaining work in Phase 2 of the project to construct the new Slip 3 will be completed during the two following off-seasons (September 2018 through May 2019 and September 2019 through May 2020).

You can click on the links below to see the following documents relating to these phases of the project:

  • A satellite photograph of the terminal prior to construction, and then a feasibility phase drawing of the site plan for the reconstructed terminal superimposed over the photograph.  Satellite Photograph & Site Plan

  • Drawings showing what demolition and construction work is going to be accomplished during each phase of the Waterside Work (Phases 2 through 4).  Phase 2  Phase 3  Phase 4

  • Drawings of the three reconstructed ferry slips, including a drawing showing their different elevations.  Ferry Slip Drawings

  • Renderings that show different perspectives of the three reconstructed ferry slips.  Ferry Slip Perspective Renderings

  • A July 2017 schematic design phase drawing of the site plan for the reconstructed terminal.  Schematic Design Phase Site Plan 

Terminal project cost and timeline update

At the February 18, 2020 joint meeting of the Board and Port Council, General Manager Robert B. Davis presented information updating the timeline and budget for all phases of the Woods Hole Terminal Reconstruction Project. The presentation may be viewed here: Report on Woods Hole Terminal Reconstruction Project Timeline.

Terminal design update

At its November 19, 2019 meeting, the Authority Board voted to approve a concept design for the terminal building in Woods Hole that includes a one-story terminal building and a two-story utility building at the site. The decision to proceed in this manner was reached following extensive public comments on the three design concepts presented at a June 18, 2019 meeting, all of which were deemed to block too much of the view of the water from the Crane Street bridge. It is hoped that the one-story terminal building will open up more of the water views. Additionally, the two-story utility building, which will house the employee areas once located on the second story of the terminal, should be sufficiently out of the way so as to not block any views of the water.

Below are some additional materials that were presented at the meeting: 

Staff Summary and presentation - One-story terminal design concept

The Falmouth Conservation Commission has approved the Authority’s request for an amended order of conditions for our one-story terminal design concept and two-story utility building. The Authority's submission can be found here: Conservation Commission filing.

October 7, 2019 presentation to Falmouth Board of Selectmen

General manager Robert B. Davis made a presentation to the Falmouth Board of Selectmen regarding a one-story design concept for the Woods Hole Terminal Building that includes a flat-roofed building with solar panels over it, as well as over the bus canopies to the east, and a two-story freight building on the terminal property. The design is a concept only and has yet to be reviewed or approved by the Port Council or Board. View the presentation here: Oct. 7 terminal presentation to Falmouth selectmen

June 18, 2019 presentation

The Steamship Authority’s Board held a special meeting to review the public feedback received to date and to consider on a proposed framework for revised schematic design phase services by the Authority’s architect on the project, BIA.studio.

Following the meeting, the Board declined to take action on the proposal at that time. 

Below are links to a staff summary on the proposed framework for the revised schematic design phase services as well as a report from the Woods Hole Group on the site. 

Staff Summary #GM-723: Request for Authorization to Develop a Revised Woods Hole Terminal Building Design

Woods Hole Group final report 

March 19, 2019 presentation 

At its March 19, 2019 Board meeting, the Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority released three design options under considerating for its Woods Hole terminal building. 

View and download the presentation here: March 19, 2019 Woods Hole Terminal presentation on design alternatives

View and download the March 28, 2019 presentation at Falmouth High School Audiorium here: Woods Hole Terminal Building – Design Update.

View and download the Steamship Authority's responses to public comments received followign the October design presentations here: Responses to public comments.

October 9 & 10, 2018 Presentation to Public

The link below provide an update on the preliminary design of the new terminal building that will be located at the site. Architecture firm BIA.studio (formerly Bertaux + Iwerks) and SSA Managers presented this update to the public in Falmouth and in Vineyard Haven.

Public Presentation October 2018

September 14, 2018 Update on design of new terminal:

The links below provide an update on the preliminary design of the new terminal building that will be located at the site. Architecture firm BIA.studio (formerly Bertaux + Iwerks) made presentations in August 2018 to the Port Council and Authority Board on the latest version of the terminal design.

Temporary Passenger Platform Canopy
Site Plan
Building Plans
Elevations 1
Elevations 2
Seasonal Shading at Plaza
Design Development
Circulation Plan - Entering
Circulation Plan - Exiting

Related documents

Chapter 91 license

Chapter 91 license - recommended final decision

Falmouth Conservation Commission Order of Conditions

ENF Certificate

Environmental Notification Form (WARNING: large file)

2014 Feasbility Study