Manhattan built its first permanent wagon bridges across the Blue and Kansas River in 1871. The railroad crossed the Kansas River at Manhattan in August 286, giving the community its first permanently installed, lasting river crossing. In 1854, the United States government installed a bridge at Juniata on the Big Blue River for the Fort Riley to Fort Leavenworth road, but an ice dam took the bridge out in 1856. The Fort to Fort road crossing was down river to Manhattan where there were two ferries: one at the foot of Poyntz Avenue across the Kansas River and another across the Blue River near Leavenworth Street. By the late 1860's, a pontoon bridge spanned the Kansas River, a solution that was not satisfactory as high water easily washed out the bridge. Manhattan built its first permanent wagon bridge across the Blue and Kansas Rivers in 1871.