Rotterdam to partly dismantle historic bridge for Jeff Bezos’s superyacht – The Guardian

Netherlands

Central section of Koningshaven Bridge to be removed to make way for Amazon founder’s $485m superyacht

AFP in the Hague

A historic steel bridge in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam is to be partly dismantled to allow a superyacht built for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to pass, local authorities have announced.

Bezos’s gigantic, 430-million-euro ($485m) yacht is too big for the iconic Koningshaven Bridge, which dates from 1878 and was rebuilt after being bombed by the Nazis in 1940 during the second world war.

The shipyard building the three-masted mammoth in Alblasserdam, near Rotterdam, has asked the local council to remove the bridge’s central section so it can pass through.

“It’s the only route to the sea,” a spokesperson for the mayor of Rotterdam told AFP, adding that the Amazon owner would foot the bill for the operation.

The decision has angered some in the Netherlands as the local council promised after a major renovation in 2017 that it would never again dismantle the bridge, known to Rotterdammers as De Hef.

The mayor’s office emphasised the economic benefits and jobs created by the construction of the boat, but promised that the bridge would be rebuilt in its current form.

The middle section of the huge steel-girdered bridge will be removed to give enough clearance for the 40-metre (130-foot) high boat, Dutch media reported.

The Y721 at the shipyard of Dutch shipbuilder Oceanco. Photograph: Dutch yachting/Youtube

The process will take a few weeks and is expected to happen this summer.

Bezos, 57, is one of the world’s richest men after transforming online bookseller Amazon into a global shopping giant.

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