SSA suspension of 5:30 am ferry delayed again

The SSA will be repairing the pier at its slip 2 in Vineyard Haven. —Eunki Seonwoo

The suspension of the Steamship Authority’s (SSA) 5:30 am departure from Martha’s Vineyard was pushed back again. 

The SSA said in an announcement that they will begin replacing a concrete finger pier at the Vineyard Haven Terminal on Wednesday, March 6. 

The SSA had initially pushed back the replacement project from Tuesday, Feb. 22, to Monday, Feb. 26, because of a delay in getting cranes on-Island to dismantle the transfer bridge.

SSA communications director Sean Driscoll said the second delay was due to “logistical issues in getting equipment to the Island.” 

The early morning freight will be out for nearly two months when construction begins.

“The work will require the freight vessel assigned to the Martha’s Vineyard route — currently the MV Sankaty — to berth overnight in Woods Hole instead of Vineyard Haven,” a Friday afternoon press release reads. “Therefore, the 5:30 am trip from Vineyard Haven will not run for the duration of the project, which is expected to take approximately six weeks. The first trip off-Island during this time will be the scheduled 6 am departure of the MV Martha’s Vineyard. All freight and automotive traffic has been rescheduled by the authority, and will be accommodated on other trips.”

According to the release, a concrete finger pier of the Vineyard Haven Terminal’s second slip “settled due to the age of the timber piles that support the infrastructure.” The original steel stop beam supporting the transfer bridge at this slip is also being replaced. 

“The purpose of this project is to complete a preventive repair to the supporting structure of the slip’s transfer bridge to ensure safe passage for vehicles and pedestrians that travel to and from Martha’s Vineyard. The work will include driving steel piles into the seabed,” the release reads. 

The project is being done by Coastal Marine Construction of Stoughton, under a $556,524 contract approved by the SSA board in January.