Netherlands Could Dismantle Historic Bridge Just For Jeff Bezos’ Yacht
By Alexa Heah, 04 Feb 2022
Rotterdam, a city in the Netherlands, could soon dismantle a nearly century-old bridge to allow for Jeff Bezos’ mega-yacht to pass through.
The Amazon founder’s new boat, believed to be worth US$500 million, was built by Oceano, a yacht maker based in Holland. In order to reach Bezos, the 417-foot-long ship must first pass through Rotterdam’s landmark bridge De Hef, as per the NL Times.
However, the steel structure isn’t tall enough for the boat’s three masts, which exceed the 130-foot limit. This has resulted in the city’s officials agreeing to remove the middle segment of the bridge to accommodate the yacht, which happens to be the largest boat ever built in the country.
According to CBS News, local authorities made the concession for Bezos due to the project’s contribution to the local economy, given its staggering price tag.
Marcel Walravens, Rotterdam Council Project Leader, said the construction of the ship was “a very important project” for the city economically, and that dismantling the bridge for it to pass through was the “only alternative.”
Dutch broadcaster Rijnmond (via the Washington Post) reported that the national monument, which underwent restoration from 2014 to 2017, was never to be dismantled again, though it seems the city is reneging on its promise just for Bezos.
The bill for the operational costs will be footed by Oceano and Bezos, although the city has yet to report how much it would cost as “a lot of details need to worked out.”
Naturally, not all Dutch people are pleased with the plans to upend the bridge once again.
“Jobs are important, but there are limits with what you can and should do with our industrial heritage,” Tom Weaseling, head of a local history society, told Dutch News.
There are even protests being organized for residents to voice their disagreement with the city’s actions when the boat is scheduled to pass through in June.
“Rotterdam was built from the rubble by the people of Rotterdam, and we don't just take that apart for the phallic symbol of a megalomaniac billionaire. Not without a fight!” wrote event organizers on Facebook.
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