SSA tweaks new Woods Hole terminal design

SSA tweaks new Woods Hole terminal design

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The SSA approved this version of the new Woods Hole terminal design. — Illustration courtesy of the Steamship Authority

The Steamship Authority presented a revised design of its proposed new Woods Hole terminal at its monthly meeting Tuesday. The new plan incorporated several changes intended to mollify critics.

At the request of the Woods Hole community working group, SSA management had asked Bertaux + Iwerks Architects to evaluate several possible variations of the “single level” and “split level” alternative design concepts presented last November.

The size of the proposed terminal has been reduced to be more in line with the Vineyard Haven terminal, according to a management synopsis of the meeting, and it will be two stories to reduce its footprint and open up water views.

Other modifications include adding a plaza area and eliminating an elevated passenger walkway between the terminal and ferry slips. The SSA members will consider management’s recommended design when it meets next month.


  1. Could the Times give us a better-resolution link to the new plans? If you try to zoom in on the image that’s currently there, the print breaks up and it’s hard to figure out what the plan is about.

  2. Your welcome to Martha’s Vineyard will include a nice schlep through acres of vehicles! This plan certainly represents the triumph of the automobile. There seems to have been no consideration of placing the terminal building on the south part of the SSA land, where it would block no views. Did someone in the SSA tell the designers of this plan, “You can do what you want but you can’t touch employee parking…”? The SSA is planning huge expenditures in the near future. The new ferry? 40 to 50 million. The WH terminal? 40 to 50 million. The SSA owes its customers a human-friendly terminal. Their present plans do not even come close.

  3. The Steamship Authority owes its customers better communication about its expensive plans. They do a very good job of getting us back and forth, and providing us with our lifeline to the mainland, but more and more the management of the SSA seems to be reverting to the bad old days when the Authority was run as a fiefdom, unwilling to consider much but personal interests of boardmembers, staff, and bondholders.

    In a recent article about the SSA, in particular about the new “freight” boat, our Vineyard representative is quoted as follows: “The (Island Home design process) process was painful. We’ve already got a predetermined design. This is what the captains want, this is what the management wants, we’ll ask if there are any other considerations.”

    In other words, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” That our own Vineyard rep would say such a thing is an indicator we should notice.

    The communities that are served by the SSA deserve to be included in SSA issues. At this time there are serious roadblocks to that communication. As a very small example, try to find the current version of the terminal plans, or the summary of the April 22 meeting. Good luck with that! If the community is roadblocked from SSA information, how can it even offer intelligent comment and criticism?

    We deserve better.