The first bridge here was built for a new military road from Fort Ripley (north of today’s Little Falls) to Point Douglas, where the St. Croix River joins the Mississippi, near Prescott, Wis. On old maps, the military road was often called the Red River Road. The new road followed the path of the old Ox Cart Trail most of the way from Anoka to St. Anthony Falls.
In Anoka, the military road probably followed Main Street to South Fifth Avenue to East River Road. However, a sign on the corner of Washington Street and a short, curved street linking South Fourth Avenue and South Fifth Avenue identifies it as “Military Road,” suggesting that the military road once followed Fourth Avenue.
Upriver of Anoka, Highway 10 and the railroad generally follow the path of the old Ox Cart Trail. Until the 1960s there were wheel ruts from the trail through the wayside rest area on Highway 10 across the river from Dayton.