Next Phase of Woods Hole Ferry Terminal Reconstruction Begins

Steamship Authority photo:

FALMOUTH – The Steamship Authority is beginning the third phase of its Woods Hole ferry terminal reconstruction after a day’s delay due to weather.

Marine contractor Jay Cashman Incorporated will be responsible for the construction process.

The main focus of phase three is the construction of a new middle slip (to be named Slip No. 2), which will require the use of a large, barge-mounted crane to drive monopiles.

This will free up the use of the landside crane to begin construction on a new passenger pier between the under-construction Slip No. 2 and the northernmost, newly-renamed Slip No. 3.

The passenger pier will also see the addition of a butterfly glass canopy.

The construction of that phase will require the installation of twelve 96-inch diameter piles for dolphin use, fifteen 18-inch piles for the transfer bridge support, 36 16-inch piles for the passenger pier foundation, and seven 30-inch piles for the floating passenger platform.  

The pile-driving will cause vibration, which the Authority will be monitoring with instruments in the basement of the temporary terminal building and on the Naushon Trust property.

“We did vibration monitoring last year, and we’re going to continue to do it this year to make sure there’s no effects on the properties around us. We know it certainly is a loud process, and we appreciate everyone’s patience during it. It’s hopefully going to be a brief process this year,” said the Communications Director Sean Driscoll.

Results from the vibration monitoring will be shared by the Authority on a weekly basis on its website and in project update emails to the community.

Driscoll also warned that traffic and ferry loading and unloading procedures will likely be subject to change during the span of the construction.

He said the temporary tents currently being used for passenger shelter will have to be removed after Columbus Day weekend due to the work on the new transfer bridge and landside utilities, but that new shelters will be in place for the winter.

“We’re making preparations now to add some passenger shelter to the very south of the property, south of the southern-most slip that people will still be able to use to take shelter from the inclement weather especially over the winter while they’re waiting to board their vessel,” said Driscoll.

“Our staff will be helping people get where they need to go. As with anything, when you have a change, it will be a little bit unusual at first, but especially for our commuters, I think that the new pattern will settle in fairly quickly.”

Though a lot of reconstruction has been done, Driscoll said the work is only about half over.

“We’re on phase three of a six-plus phase project, so we’re roughly at the halfway point. There’s still a lot to do, but we’ve gotten a lot done so far. We’re looking forward to a hopefully smooth construction season and continuing on our way,” he said.

Slip No. 1, the terminal design process and construction, and the temporary-terminal building removal are all still on the agenda to be finished before the whole Woods Hole Terminal project is complete.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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