SSA Ferry Terminal Reconstruction

SSA Woods Hole Ferry Terminal Reconstruction Project

|   Woods Hole, MA
Overview: BIA developed a comprehensive plan to completely rebuild all landside and waterside components of the Woods Hole Ferry Terminal. The project is currently moving forward with Phases 2-4, covering reconstruction of the waterside berths, to be followed in subsequent years with Phases 5 and 6, covering landside site and building construction. The design of the project was preceded by three years of feasibility studies, environmental permitting, and construction of a new administrative office building off-site, and temporary passenger terminal on site.

Waterside Design: The entire waterfront will be demolished and rebuilt approximately 70 feet seaward to better accommodate landside and waterside operations. The new configuration accommodates three new ferry slips with two new passenger boarding piers between them. Transfer bridges providing front-end loading are set to different landside heights to optimize access to a vessel fleet with divergent freeboards. The passenger piers have fixed forward platforms and flexible aft floating platforms which allow for 100% accessible side-boarding of all passenger vessels. A pair of linear butterfly-shaped canopies provide cover for each fixed platform. These structures are carried on oval concrete columns, and fabricated from stainless steel center beams, western red cedar outriggers, and point-supported glass roof system. The platforms and bulkhead are equipped with a stainless steel handrail system utilizing a stainless steel strand-mesh enclosure and continuous guardrail system with integral handrail lighting.

Landside Design: The new terminal is the centerpiece of the project, sitting 100 feet back from the water’s edge and elevated several feet above the surrounding staging areas. The 2-story terminal building is conceived as a simple stone-clad saltbox form with wood trusses that extend out laterally to provide cover over the open plaza area. The ground floor of the terminal houses a passenger waiting room, ticketing services, public toilets and food concessions. The upper level provides accommodations for operations personnel and an SSA training and education facility. The site is tightly organized to accommodate 4 lanes for buses and taxis, space to stage 175 vehicles, additional space to stage 20 large trucks, apron areas for loading and unloading vehicles, and continuation of the bicycle path, terminating at a new waterside public bike park.

Resiliency: The terminal site is situated in flood zone VE13 along the water’s edge and AE13 to the interior. In response to flood zone and sea level rise risks, the design team investigated ways to create a more flood resistant and resilient project. To improve accessibility and minimize impacts from severe storms and flooding, the new waterfront will be elevated 3-4 feet above existing grades. In the context of maximizing accessibility for pedestrians, the terminal was also elevated as much as possible, and will make use of a deployable dry flood-proof panel system to counter any forecast flood event.

The project is scheduled to be complete by mid-2023.



The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority
$70M over 6-1/2 years
Full architectural design services
Date: December 10, 2017