Transformer pads at terminal remain unrepaired

Two decayed concrete pads that support 4000 volt transformers at the SSA Vineyard Haven terminal have not been repaired since a state building inspector examined them in August. — Rich Saltzberg

Updated Feb. 6

A pair of concrete blocks or pads supporting transformers at the Steamship Authority terminal in Vineyard Haven remain cracked and crumbling, with one bound with chains to hold it together. As the Times reported in August, the pads, which are SSA property supporting Eversource infrastructure, were slated to be inspected by a structural engineer by the end of August, and then repaired in autumn based on the recommendations of that engineer. It now appears the pads will not be repaired until this summer.

“The project is expected to go out to bid in the next few months this year, with the goal of the work being completed by summer,” SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll emailed at the end of January.

Driscoll later told The Times the pads have been examined by Eversource and deemed not dangerous. He pointed out epoxy and mortar were used in addition to the chains as further interim strengtheners. And “Jersey barriers are there to prevent further damage to the blocks from trucks, which is what we believe caused the damage in the first place,” he noted

While the pads will be new, the transformers, which channel 4,000 volts for dedicated use by the SSA, will not be replaced but reused, according to Eversource spokesman Reid Lamberty. In addition to powering the terminal, Lamberty said, the transformers convey shore power to berthed ferries. He noted Eversource has conferred with the SSA about electrical standards which will need to be met for the job, and also said there will be an planned outage during the work.

“The Steamship Authority will provide generators to maintain power,” he said.

Updated with more details from Driscoll. -Ed.