Slip construction leading to SSA delays 

The pier replacement project underway at the Vineyard Haven terminal. — Dave Plath

The Steamship Authority (SSA) Vineyard Haven terminal is down to one slip, and it’s causing some delays on ferry routes. 

The SSA is undergoing a pier replacement project at its second slip in Vineyard Haven. The work is being done by Coastal Marine Construction of Stoughton, and is expected to wrap up in the next month or two.

The absence of the other slip has kept some ferries waiting in Vineyard Haven Sound. Seastreak, which has a commuter route between the Vineyard and New Bedford, also uses the slip, leading to further delays.

Steamship general manager Robert Davis said at Tuesday’s board meeting that the delays were expected. 

“We knew this was going to be disruptive not only to our vessels but to Seastreak, being down to one slip in Vineyard Haven,” Davis said, adding that notices were posted on the SSA’s website and social media pages. “But this is work that needs to be done … we’re hopeful we’ll be able to wrap this by the end of April, beginning of May.” 

Some people have complained about the delays on social media. One individual raised safety concerns about the construction site on a public Facebook page, “SOSA (Save Our Steamship Authority).” Chris Raposo posted that the site was problematic for passenger safety when in the terminal.

The official SSA account responded to the post by commenting that senior management had addressed the issue, and that they “will ensure a safety zone is established and enforced.” 

When The Times asked for details about the measures taken by the SSA on Tuesday, Davis said he and Steamship COO Mark Higgins immediately contacted the staff responsible to make sure the safety zone was expanded, and to make a safe environment for both customers and their employees. 

“I believe at this point that zone’s been taken care of,” he said, pointing to “crowd control barriers” that have been placed, and equipment moved to allow customers “some protection from the elements.”


  1. The delay was the steamship dragging there feet for three weeks, there life line slogan is BS. They should have opened OakBluffs early and Docked the 6am in OB so the fast ferry would have a open unobstructed facility. So the 530am would still be running.. even if weather permitting it’s better than the “flat lines” answer… run the 6am and 7am then let the fast ferry in and put the 730 a half hour behind.. then that trickles down to the rest of the boats.. yup ! Or better yet lets put the new ricket office 105ft in front of slip 2 so pedestrian traffic and vehicle traffic cross each other.. pure genius!!! The SSA is the only authority that makes the MBTA look like a well oiled machine.. if it wasn’t for the employees and Agents the steam ship would be sunk !

    • Have you spoken to the County Commissioners about how you think the SSA should be run?
      They are responsible for hiring the Board of Governors, who are responsible for hiring the General Manager, who is responsible for hiring employees and Agents (employees). How is that those bad people hire such good people?
      The SSA is owned by we the people, we can vote them out of existence, should we?

  2. Aaaaaand, haven’t seen anybody working on the slip today………gonna be August until it’s done.

Comments are closed.