You Can Take The Ferry To Cross The Ohio River At Madison
(Madison, Ind.) – Starting Monday, Madison-area commuters seeking a quicker route across the Ohio River can hitch a ride on a boat.
The City of Madison and Rockin Thunder Jet Boat Rides LLC have announced they have agreed to provide passenger ferry service across the Ohio River during the last two weeks of the Madison-Milton Bridge closure. The bridge has been closed since March 11 and is not expected to reopen until after April 6.
Since the closure, commuters have had to detour to either the Markland Dam Bridge to the north or the Interstate 65 bridge in Louisville to the south.
Starting Monday, March 31, however, individuals will be able to take a boat ride from the City of Madison boat ramp to Milton, Kentucky every Monday through Friday rain or shine from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Trips will be made across the river throughout the day as needed. There will be no cost to people wanting to make the trip across, but rides will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Mayor Damon Welch said, “I am pleased that we were able to get an agreement to make sure residents can make it between the two cities. When we were told it might be a short delay, a number of generous residents stepped up to help as they always do in times of need. However, with an extended delay, we knew something had to be done to help residents whose time and money is being pinched through this closing. We are grateful that Rockin’ Thunder owners/captains Paul & Janet, the City of Milton, and the Bridge Project is working with us as well. Despite this recent delay, we are still very blessed to only have a closure of a month rather than 12 to 18 months or more.”
The Rockin’ Thunder boats will be loaded at the Madison Boat Ramp using a dock provided by Eagle Hollow Marina. On the Milton side, boats will unload on to the emergency ferry and people can walk off to the Milton Boat Ramp. For residents on the Milton side that need to get back to Madison, please call Rockin’ Thunder Jet Boats at 701-1155 to announce your arrival on the Milton shoreline for pickup. Please do not park on the Milton Boat Ramp, as it needs to be accessible for emergency vehicles. Limited parking is available in Milton on High Street or at the Milton City Park.
Once on either riverbank, ferry riders are encouraged to carpool with family members, co-workers, or friends to reach their intended destination. Detours for vehicular traffic across the Ohio River are available at Markland Locks and Dam Bridge, connecting Kentucky Route 1039 and Indiana State Road 101, 26 miles upstream, or the I-65 Kennedy Bridge in Louisville, 46 miles downstream.
The cost for this service is being absorbed by the City of Madison. Rockin’ Thunder boats are driven by U.S. Coast Guard certified master captains. Riders will be asked to sign a waiver form before making the trip, although it is important to note that the rides will NOT be the typical “wild” rides that Rockin’ Thunder provides during tourist season.