Construction at the Woods Hole ferry terminal has been extended three to four weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Steamship Authority project manager William Cloutier said.
The number of crew members working on the site was decreased in March to accommodate social distancing, and that has slowed the work. Construction is expected to continue until the end of June or beginning of July. Work was to end at the end of May.
The extension is not expected to disrupt ferry service this year since the Steamship Authority will be running a reduced schedule due to low ridership and will only be using two of the three ferry slips, Authority spokesman Sean F. Driscoll said.
The six-year shoreside and marine project that began in 2018 entails the phased demolition of all the existing waterfront structures the Authority uses in Woods Hole, including replacement of three ferry slips and construction of two passenger loading piers, a new terminal building, and storm water improvements.
At its Tuesday, May 19, board meeting, Authority general manager Robert B. Davis said ridership at this point appears to be only seasonal residents of Martha’s Vineyard and trucks carrying provisions to the island, with little or no day trippers.
Ferry traffic nosedived as soon as the stay-at-home advisory took effect in March. Passenger traffic has steadily and slowly climbed upward recently, but is still 73 percent off from this time last year, Mr. Davis said. Car traffic is at about 50 percent of 2019 numbers.