This is an exceptional example of a Strauss overhead counterweight trunnion bascule bridge. The bridge has been repainted and as of 2021 looks beautiful. In years past, many of Tampa's beautiful historic bridges including this one were covered in unsightly university-related graffiti and it is hoped this will not be repeated. This bridge appears to have been designed to have a decorative enclosure that would have hidden the counterweight. The steel frame that would have held such an enclosure remains on the bridge, but there is no surviving enclosure. The Florida Historic Bridge Inventory incorrectly associates this bridge's overhead arched elements as structural members, indeed these arched elements were commonly used on bridges to support electric wire for streetcars that once were common in large cities.
Above: This photo from an old Strauss company catalog, showing a different Strauss overhead counterweight bascule, illustrates how the Laurel Street Bridge might have once had a decorative enclosure around the counterweight.
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