Woods Hole Ferry Terminal Reconstruction Project

Posted: November 25, 2019

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.

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. 

The design concepts may require additional regulatory approval; please watch this space for updates on upcoming meetings. Below are some additional materials that were presented at the meeting: 

Staff Summary and presentation - One-story terminal design concept

November 29, 2019 update

Marine contractor Jay Cashman Inc. continued to work on the passenger pier, driving piles and setting and grouting the concrete pile caps. They dismantled the outer portion of the temporary trestle so that the precast planks can be set on the pile caps. Cashman also prepared to move another section of the catwalk for Slip No. 3 (the northernmost slip) that is interfering with the construction of the passenger pier. The ringer barge crane prepared to drive the monopiles, setting up the vibratory hammer and getting falsework in place. The monopiles arrived on Tuesday; the last day of work for the week was Wednesday.

This week, Cashman will continue driving the piles for the passenger pier and they will set the pile caps on the completed bents. They will set and start driving the monopiles. They also hope to set some of the precast planks by the end of the week.

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 

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