The end of high travel season brings the return of heavy equipment to the Steamship Authority terminal in Woods Hole, as the boat line continues its multi-year reconstruction of the shoreside facility.

The cost of the project is pegged at some $64 million. A series of public presentations are planned for this fall to air designs for the terminal building, still three or four years in the future.

Architect's rendering of future new terminal. — courtesy Steamship Authority

Meanwhile, Quincy contractor Jay Cashman Inc. began work Monday to remove old sheet piling that forms the bulkhead on the north and west sides of the old wharf. A crane arrived Tuesday morning, although other equipment was delayed by inclement weather.

“With some of the weather issues they’ve had, some of the barges won’t be arriving until next week,” SSA general manager Bob Davis told the Gazette Tuesday afternoon.

The tent near the middle ferry slip has been taken down to allow trucks to reach the site, but the canopy between the two southern slips will remain up until late October when it will be replaced by a longer-lasting shade structure, Mr. Davis said.

Following the removal of the old bulkhead, Cashman will excavate the wharf while Lawrence Lynch Corp. of Falmouth removes temporary fill that was installed last spring.

Once the fill is removed, pile driving will begin. Cashman is putting in a new sheet pile bulkhead for the wharf along with 60 pilings for Slip 3. Nine of them will be extra-large monopile dolphins — the bumper-like pilings that guide ferries into the slip — while the rest will support the slip’s new, longer transfer bridge and its passenger loading pier.

The boat line has installed vibration monitoring equipment to track the force of the pile driving when it begins. Results will be published in the weekly emails the SSA sends to its neighbors in Woods Hole during construction, Mr. Davis said.

The cost of the multi-year project is pegged at $64 million. — Jeanna Shepard

“The whole process can be very disruptive and we appreciate everyone bearing with us as we go through this,” he said. “We’re trying to do this during the off season . . . and in various stages, to minimize inconvenience to our customers.”

Slip 3 is scheduled to go into service in May. “That’s the plan,” Mr. Davis said, adding that the new slip is positioned slightly farther to the south than the one it is replacing. The relocation places the slip outside the scope of a previous agreement the SSA had with the Woods Hole neighbors that restricts how much it can be used.

“We will be able to use that slip as an operating slip and it will also improve the approach vessels have to make coming in,” Mr. Davis said.

The transfer bridge, over which vehicles, crew members and sometimes passengers move from the wharf to the ferry, will be longer because of coastal building codes that require the terminal to be raised several feet, Mr. Davis said.

When the new terminal building is complete, it will be even farther from the water line on a terrace raised above a surrounding plaza, according to Chris Iwerks of Bertaux+Iwerks Architects in Boston, which is working on the building’s design.

Work will include bulkhead replacement. — Jeanna Shepard

That phase of the terminal reconstruction is still a few years off, but Mr. Davis said the boat line is getting ready to share the architects’ renderings with the public.

“It is critical that we firm up the design,” he said. “A lot of the site work that will be required in three years will be dependent on that.”

The SSA board of governors and port council have both viewed the architects’ latest drawings, which show a roomy waiting room with high windows, wood and stone exterior and a plaza with interlocking umbrellas to provide shade.

Design review is the next step, currently expected to begin sometime in October. The Falmouth historical commission will need to weigh in, Mr. Davis said. “We do want to be able to get some input from our neighbors there in Woods Hole, and also Vineyard residents,” perhaps through an open house on the Island, he said.

The boat line board of governors holds its next meeting on Sept. 25 at the Nantucket Whaling Museum.