Part of a historic bridge in the Netherlands will be dismantled so that the superyacht built for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos can cross the river that flows through Rotterdam, the city said on Thursday.
Netty Kros, a spokesman for the city of Rotterdam, said that the middle section of the 95-year-old Koningshaven Bridge will be removed this summer to allow yachts to pass. The bridge, known locally as “De Hef,” will later be restored, likely on the same day, she said.
Ms. Kros said that Bezos’ yacht could fit under all the other bridges in Rotterdam. She did not estimate how much the deconfinement would cost but said the shipbuilder, not a resident of Rotterdam, would pay.
Ms. Kros said there would not be any structural changes to the bridge, adding that the city had to weigh the economic benefits of building yachts in Rotterdam against the jobs it would create.
Representatives for Amazon and Oceanco, the Dutch custom yacht company that is building the boat, did not respond to requests for comment on the cost or destination of the yacht.
Boat International, which publishes articles on the superyacht industry, reported that The 417-foot sailboat is set to become the world’s largest sailing yacht when it is completed later this year, pass Sea of cloudsa 360-foot sailboat built in 1931 and owned by Yacht Portfolio, an investment firm based in Malta.
The superyacht that Mr. Bezos put on will likely cost more than 500 million dollars to build, Bloomberg reported. Mr. Bezos is second richest person in the worldafter Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk.
The bridge, whose clearance is 130 feet, is not currently in use. A Rotterdam tour guide named Eddy I. says that the bridge, designed by Dutch architect Pieter Joosting and a fixture on Rotterdam’s skyline, was once used for rail traffic. . The vertical lift, was the first of its kind in the Netherlands and copied from examples in the United States. The bridge’s modern industrial aesthetic inspired a short film in 1928, he say.
So far, tall ships have passed under the bridge before assembling their masts and taller structures, he said.
Siebe Thissen, author of the book “The Boy Who Jumps From the Bridge” about a working-class man who jumped from a bridge in 1933, says the structure is more than just a bridge for the people of Rotterdam. “It’s a monument,” he said. “That’s the identity of Rotterdam.”
When city officials tried to bring down the bridge in the 1990s, as it was no longer in use, there were massive protests, he said. The bridge is reminiscent of the old days in Rotterdam, he say.
“I think that’s why he has so much confusion about Jeff Bezos and his boat,” he said, before referring to allegation against Amazon. “People say, ‘Why this guy?’ It’s a working-class town, and they all know that Jeff Bezos, of course, he exploits his workers, so people say, “Why can’t this guy tear down trees pray for my ship?”
The guide, who works for Tours by Locals, which connects tourists with local guides, said he doesn’t see much of a problem with rebuilding the bridge as long as residents Rotterdam does not cover the cost.
“I think most of the Rotterdammers will get international attention, and a lot of people will come see them,” he said. “On the other hand, it shows the unimaginable wealth that people like Bezos have created for themselves, with nothing standing in the way of them living their dreams and hobbies. The world beyond people will watch the train pass through the city. “
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/03/world/europe/jeff-bezos-yacht-rotterdam-bridge.html Rotterdam to Dismantle Bridge for Jeff Bezos’ Superyacht