Merrimac (WKOW) -- from WI Dept. of Transportation: The Colsac III, the ferry carrying travelers and their vehicles across the Wisconsin River between Columbia and Sauk Counties at Merrimac, will close for the winter season at 6 p.m. Thursday due to ice on the river.
The Colsac III, which runs free of charge twenty-four hours a day in season as part of WIS 113, began 2008 operations April 2 and achieved a ninety-nine percent efficiency rating.
Colsac III is Wisconsin's only free ferry.
The craft holds 15 vehicles at a time, in addition to bicycles and pedestrians.
A single crossing takes about seven minutes.
Passengers board the ferry at Okee on the south bank of river and Merrimac on the north bank.
The ferry resumes operations in the springtime when the river becomes free of ice.
The ferry has operated free of charge since 1933.
Prior to that, private toll ferries were used dating back to 1844.