Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Merrimac Ferry - Operations

Merrimac Ferry (Colsac III) is open for the 2014 season. The ferry will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until ice forms on the Wisconsin River.

WisDOT owns and operates the Merrimac Ferry. It is an extension of WIS 113 and allows the motorist to cross Lake Wisconsin in lieu of a bridge.

The following regulations shall govern its operation:

  1. The maximum operating speed of the ferry shall not exceed 600 feet per minute.
  2. No more than 15 vehicles will be carried on any one trip. (No commercial buses.)
  3. Once the ferry has left either shore, whether it carries capacity or not, it shall not return to that shore to pick up additional vehicles until a complete crossing has been made.
  4. When, in the opinion of the operator, weather conditions are so severe as to make a crossing unsafe, he shall arrange to so inform any waiting vehicles on either shore and shall not attempt a crossing until he deems it safe. Flashing lights are activated notifying travelers of temporary interruption of service. These lights are located at WIS 60 and I-90/94, WIS 19 and WIS 113, WIS 78 and WIS 113, WIS 78 and I-90/94 and at US 12 and County K.
  5. All cables shall be replaced as often as necessary to minimize the possibility of breakage and the resultant delay in service provided.
  6. Should a breakdown occur, causing stoppage of the ferry's operation, the county shall take such prompt action as is necessary to restore service in the shortest possible time. In such event, the regional office and maintenance section shall be promptly notified as to the cause of delay in service and the estimated length of time that the ferry may be out of service. The five ferry out of service lights shall be activated.
  7. The operators shall report the daily number of trips, total type and number of vehicles carried, materials used, etc., on a "Weekly Report on Operation" form supplied by WisDOT. This report shall be submitted to the state maintenance engineer by the regional chief maintenance engineer at the close of each month's operation.
  8. The total number of passengers carried on any trip shall not exceed the number of life preservers carried on the craft.
  9. A seaworthy life boat shall be carried on the ferry at all times during the ferry's operation.
  10. No alcohol drinking is permitted on the ferry.

SSI - Contacts, Merrimac Ferry Questions about the content of this page:
WisDOT Division of Transportation Systems Development (DTSD), division-office.dtsd@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: April 14, 2014

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