Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Merrimac ferry on the water

Where is the Merrimac Ferry located?

The Merrimac Ferry is located on WIS 113 across the Wisconsin River/Lake Wisconsin between Okee and Merrimac.

Merrimac Ferry location map (printable view)

How much does it cost?

Nothing, it is free!

When can I ride it?

24 hours a day, seven days a week, normally from April 15 through November 30.

How long does it take?

A single crossing takes about seven minutes.

How  many cars does it take at once?

Fifteen, three lanes of five cars each.

Why is it called ColSac III?

The ferry links both Columbia and Sauk counties. The name is derived from both county names.

Can I take my bicycle across?

Yes, there is a separate lane for bicycles and pedestrians.

Are buses allowed?

School buses are allowed, but motor coaches are not. Capacity is one school bus per trip loaded in the center lane. Schools and tour groups with multiple buses should plan ahead to allow time for multiple bus crossings.

Tow behind campers are allowed and one should self limit to smaller ones due to maneuverability.

Is there a vehicle weight limit or axle limit?

There is a single vehicle weight limit of 16 tons, but you are further limited to a vehicle with a single rear axle only.

How does it work?

The ferry pulls itself across on three cables stretched across the lake.

Is there any warning that lets us know that the ferry is not operating?

Yes, watch for signs and flashing lights 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. These signs provide drivers an early warning when the ferry is not running so they can adjust their routes to bypass the ferry.

Are hazardous materials allowed?

Hazardous materials, including but not limited to, agricultural nitrogen, propane in excess of 100 lbs, fuel in excess of 100 gallons, are not allowed on the vessel.

Who do I contact for more information?

Brian J. Rice, WisDOT Southwest Region Maintenance
(608) 246-3872