The Steamship Authority’s (SSA) website relaunch is facing another delay, and a cost spike that pushes it near $3 million.
The SSA board voted 3-1 to approve a change order with the firm managing the website redesign for $288,000, bringing up the total project cost to $2.8 million.
Falmouth representative Peter Jeffrey was the sole dissenting vote during the Thursday afternoon meeting, but board members were not happy. Vineyard representative Jim Malkin called the creeping costs a “management failure.”
Stellar Elements — originally called Projekt202, which later changed to ADK Group — is running the redesign.
SSA general manager Robert Davis said development of the website redesign will continue over the summer, with a fall release date. “There’s a number of elements on this project that still need to be resolved,” he said. “To be rolling this out at this time of year, we don’t feel is the best. We only have one chance to make a first impression.”
The SSA initially planned to launch a redesigned website and mobile app, a project originally budgeted for $2.6 million, by this spring. However, the project was delayed in February.
According to SSA spokesperson Sean Driscoll, the original contract cost was $1.996 million, but previous change orders increased the costs to $2.5 million.
The website also saw a mishap with its cloud servers during the opening of summer reservations for Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, during which many customers had difficulties accessing the website and experienced long wait times. Driscoll told The Times at the time that the difficulties were not related to the website redesign.
According to Driscoll, the website redesign is undergoing a “very rigorous” development and testing phase.
“Large portions of the functionality are complete from a development standpoint, but many items still remain to be fully tested and