Steamship Authority governors moved briskly Tuesday through an agenda that included a report on the over-budget Woods Hole terminal reconstruction, a financial snapshot of 2021 operations and an update on vaccination compliance among SSA staff.

But at the request of chairman and New Bedford governor Maura Tierney, the board postponed discussion of recently-filed state legislation that would mandate a chief operating officer at the SSA.

“My understanding is that we will have the time to have this briefed,” Ms. Tierney said, after requesting a report from boat line staff outlining the impact of adding the new management position. “I think it makes sense before we put any of our individual comments on the record regarding this,” she added.

General manager Robert Davis said he will have a report ready for next month’s board meeting, scheduled for March 15.

Among other business Tuesday, the board heard a report on the waterside reconstruction in Woods Hole, the cost of which is closing in on $60 million — $5.5 million more than the original $54 million estimate, SSA project manager Bill Cloutier told the board.

Change orders of more than $16 million now represent 37 per cent of the initial $43 million contract with Quincy-based Cashman Construction, general contractor for the project, Mr. Cloutier said.

But the waterside work is nearly finished, Mr. Davis told the board.

“Cashman has demobilized some of their equipment . . . removing Jersey barriers and the like,” Mr. Davis said. “We’re expecting to be done either in the middle of March or the end of March,” Mr. Cloutier said.

Board members also saw new, more detailed renderings of the Woods Hole landside project and the ticket building, which Mr. Davis said is now 90 per cent designed.

Architects Lian Davis and Chris Iwerks of BIA Studio in Boston said they made changes to the design based on public comments during and after a public presentation last month.

Among the updates, the building now features elongated windows with wide views instead of the previously-proposed round windows, Lian Davis said.

The structure will be clad in a custom granite blend, designed to approximate the historic local granite seen in older Falmouth buildings, he said.

General manager Davis presented unaudited year-end figures showing that SSA operations ended 2021 in the black by nearly $15 million, more than $5 million more than the boat line had budgeted.

Director of marine operations Mark Amundsen updated the board on the ferries Island Home and Iyanough, which are in dry dock, and he freight ferry Katama, which is under repair after a recent breakdown.

After a brief discussion about electrifying SSA vessels in then future, the board approved purchasing two spare diesel engines, to avoid delays in case of ferry breakdowns.

“Right now we do not have a spare engine for the Woods Hole,” Mr. Davis said.

While the possibility exists that the ferries Martha’s Vineyard and Woods Hole could be retrofitted with electric engines, Mr. Davis said it is unlikely either vessel has the capacity for the size and weight of the batteries needed to fully electrify.

Electric batteries could cause a particular problem in Hyannis, he said, where ferry drafts are strictly limited to 10.5 feet.

“We are working on a useful life survey of all the vessels that will be very helpful in determining which vessels have some useful life or whether they’re candidates to be replaced,” Mr. Davis told the board.

More than 95 per cent of boat line staff have complied with the SSA’s Covid-19 vaccination policy announced last month, by submitting the required documentation or qualifying for an exemption on medical or religious grounds, Mr. Davis said.

“The remaining employees remain ineligible to be working,” he said.

A group of 11 boat line employees filed a lawsuit in Barnstable superior court last week challenging the vaccine mandate, but the case was quickly moved to federal court this week at the request of SSA attorneys.