Steamship Authority governors welcomed a new member Tuesday and approved another expenditure for the Woods Hole Terminal reconstruction project, already $4 million over budget.

Peter Jeffrey takes over for the Falmouth governor from Kathryn Wilson, who resigned from the board in November.

“Thank you for taking on this task, Mr. Jeffrey,” said New Bedford governor and board chairman Moira Tierney.

“I know I have some big shoes to fill,” Mr. Jeffrey said.

The board then turned to another cost overrun related to the marine side terminal reconstruction project. General manager Bob Davis said the work is needed after a design to connect three monopiles was deemed unfeasible. Reinforcing the monopile will involve substantial work by divers, Mr. Davis said.

Governors were offered two choices for payment: a lump sum of $1.46 million or payment based on the cost of time and materials for the work as it occurs. Project manager Bill Cloutier explained that under the time and materials contract, the SSA will foot the bill for time lost due to weather conditions, but will not be responsible for time lost due to sickness, as Covid-19 continues to rapidly spread throughout the region.

“If we keep this project moving . . . the time and materials basis will be the better option,” Mr. Davis said.

The board voted to move forward with the time and materials payment option.

Barring further unexpected costs for the project, Mr. Cloutier said waterside work at Woods Hole is reaching completion.

“The end is in sight with this marine contract,” he said.

The board also addressed concerns from Vineyard governor James Malkin over the upkeep of transfer bridges, after a cable failed in Vineyard Haven over the weekend.

Director of marine operations Mark Amundsen explained that the cold snap on Saturday caused a cable responsible for lifting the transfer bridge to fail, disrupting ferry service. Mr. Amundsen said the cold created additional issues, including the freezing of ferry doors, which could not be avoided.

“There was really nothing to have been done to prevent this,” he said.

In other business, communications director Sean Driscoll gave an update on the SSA’s project to build a new website, saying that meetings over the next several weeks will ramp up work.

“We’re definitely thoroughly started and busy for the next few weeks,” he said.

Mr. Driscoll added that the website is expected to be completed in November, with a mobile version planned for next January.

Also Tuesday, managers presented travel numbers for November and December. In November, both passengers and automobiles were carried at a higher rate than in 2019. More vehicles were carried in December than in 2019, but passenger ridership decreased.

Compared with 2019, vehicle ridership increased overall in 2021 by 3.4 per cent, but passenger ridership saw a significant decline. Passenger ridership this year has decreased by 10 per cent compared to 2019, a figure Mr. Malkin said treasurer Mark Rozum predicted exactly at the beginning of the year.

“Spot on,” Mr. Malkin said.