Netherlands to dismantle historic bridge for Jeff Bezos’ megayacht

97

The Dutch port city of Rotterdam is planning on dismantling its historic De Hef bridge to allow the passage of a superyacht owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the local council said on Wednesday, according to Deutsche Welle.

Bezos, one of the richest men in the world, commissioned the building of the three-mast yacht, which tops out at 40 meters (130 feet) high, for the price of €430 million ($485 million) at the Alblasserdam shipyard near Rotterdam.

The bridge, also known as the Koningshaven Bridge, is not big enough to let the boat through and so will be dismantled, with Bezos himself footing the bill for the work.

“It’s the only route to the sea,” a spokesperson for the city told the AFP news agency. The dismantling is expected to last a few weeks, beginning this summer.

The decision has received criticism. Some locals were angry since the council had promised it would not dismantle the bridge again after major renovations in 2017.

The De Hef bridge was built in 1878 and then rebuilt after suffering significant damage during World War II. Plans to demolish the bridge in 1993 were discarded following pushback from residents.