Expedited repairs to the Oak Bluffs ferry pier will begin soon, after Steamship Authority governors approved a $267,000 bid Tuesday for the work, with a June 22 completion date still squarely in sight.

But because the project is only a partial repair, the wooden wharf will not be able to handle heavy trucks, which will have to be routed through Vineyard Haven for the summer.

Under pressure from Oak Bluffs to get the summer terminal opened, last week governors decided to move forward with the partial fix, and complete the rest pf the work in the fall.

The contract will go to Coastal Marine Construction of Canton, which submitted the low bid. Three bids came in by the deadline Monday afternoon.

The vote by the governors was unanimous.

“This is exactly what I called for at two different meetings, so this plays right into my ball game,” said Barnstable governor Robert Jones. “It isn’t the way it should be done, it should be done all at one time . . . But sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to make things happen.”

The pier repairs have become politically fraught in recent weeks, with Oak Bluffs selectmen crying foul after Vineyard SSA governor James Malkin and general manager Robert Davis first suggested that the terminal might not open at all this summer.

That idea was quickly withdrawn and a new plan was formulated to do only part of the work for the sake of opening the terminal — late, but still in time for summer.

Coastal Marine will now do work on 13 of 35 pilings that need repair or replacement, as well as miscellaneous spile caps and stringer repairs, Mr. Davis said Tuesday.

Once the work is completed and the terminal is open, cars, passengers and pickup trucks will be able to come through Oak Bluffs, but all large trucks will be routed through the port of Vineyard Haven.

Mr. Davis expressed confidence that the project would be completed by the June 22 date.

“We talked with Coastal Marine after the bid opening,” he said. “They are very comfortable with the time frame. Even if they receive the timber for the stringer cap as late as the eighth [of June], they would be comfortable to get the project completed in the time frame.”

New Bedford governor Moira Tierney asked about provisions to protect against extensive change orders. Ms. Tierney has been a frequent critic of the change orders piling up for the much larger Woods Hole terminal project. She expressed concern that the second lowest bid for the project was $457,000, approximately $190,000 less than Coastal’s bid. The high $730,000.

SSA managers said they were confident the project would come in around budget.

“We have a pretty strong feel that the change orders will be minimal as a result of proper specification,” director of marine operations Mark Amundsen said. “If you prorate the cost of our initial work scope, pared back to our current work scope, it is more in line with the Coastal bid than the other bids.”

Initial cost estimates for the total project were about $500,000.

The contract also has a $10,000-per day liquidated damages clause, Mr. Davis said, meaning that if the project is delayed after the June 22 date the contractor has to make payments to the SSA. Coastal worked previously on the pier, Mr. Davis said.

“Thank you to the authority for doing the work, changing the horse in midstream, so to speak, and getting this done,” Mr. Malkin said.

At a meeting later in the day, Oak Bluffs selectmen and town administrator Bob Whritenour thanked Mr. Malkin for expediting the pier repairs, although they continued to question why the pier was not fixed before the season and expressed regret at the situation.

Selectman Michael Santoro, a restaurateur who owns the Lookout Tavern near the pier, expressed concern about the impact the pier’s partial fix would have on ferry schedules, and said he hoped that the SSA would consider using freight boats to transport cars and passengers to the town.

“It’s just a shame,” Mr. Santoro said. “I would just hope that this would never, ever happen again.”

In other business Tuesday, ferry traffic continues to increase despite still being under half the regular numbers for May, senior managers told the board.

Traffic cratered last month due to the pandemic. And while a $12 million influx of federal grant money and a recently inked $10 million line of credit will act as a cushion through the summer, the financial picture remains unsettled.

As of the first week in May, treasurer Mark Rozum said credit card receipts were running at about 45 per cent of what would be expected for this time of year. Car and truck traffic has ticked upward, prompting added ferry service, but passenger traffic remains at approximately 25 per cent of its regular numbers.

“The one thing we are not seeing is the walk-on passengers,” Mr. Rozum said.

But due to the increase in vehicle traffic, the ferry Martha’s Vineyard will now run seven trips per day instead of four, Mr. Davis said. He said he hopes to see the Island Home, which is currently in drydock, back in service within the next week.

Summer bookings are running at approximately 85 to 90 per cent of their expected numbers, Mr. Davis said, although weekly gains have been minimal.

“In the future bookings, it’s really a wait-and-see pattern,” Mr. Rozum said.

The board will begin meeting twice a month after next Tuesday, when the regular monthly meeting is held.