Plan to dismantle Dutch bridge for brand new yacht sparks anger

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — A plan to briefly dismantle a just lately restored historic bridge within the coronary heart of Dutch port metropolis Rotterdam so that a large yacht, reportedly being constructed for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, can get to the North Sea is unlikely to be plain crusing.

Reviews this week that the town had already agreed to take aside the Koningshaven Bridge, identified domestically as De Hef, sparked anger with one Fb occasion arrange calling for folks to pelt the multimillion greenback yacht with rotten eggs.

Nonetheless, a spokeswoman for Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb instructed The Related Press on Friday that whereas a request has been submitted by a shipbuilder for the bridge to briefly be taken aside over the summer time, no allow has but been sought or granted.

“I believe it’s straightforward to grasp why it’s so controversial as a result of this can be a very stunning, just lately restored previous bridge,“ mentioned Rotterdam resident Lizette Touber. “It truly is our heritage. And I believe that if the wealthy will pay for it to be opened, which usually no person else may do, then you definately get controversy.”

In a written assertion, Aboutaleb, who’s on a go to to Colombia, mentioned that when a request for a allow is submitted it is going to be assessed primarily based on components together with financial affect, environmental nuisance and attainable dangers to the “monumental construction” of the bridge.

“When the allow has been utilized for, the municipality can decide about this, particulars may be additional elaborated and a plan may be made within the occasion of a optimistic determination,” the assertion mentioned.

The municipality declined to touch upon who owns the yacht in query or determine the shipbuilder. An electronic mail despatched to Amazon in search of remark went unanswered.

The present Hef railway bridge was opened for trains to cross the Maas River in 1927 and brought out of service in 1993 when it was changed by a tunnel. Public protests spared it from demolition and it will definitely underwent a three-year renovation that resulted in 2017. The center part of the bridge may be raised to permit ships to go beneath, however apparently not excessive sufficient for the brand new yacht’s masts.

Ton Wesselink, chairman of a Rotterdam historic society, feared {that a} determination to permit one yacht via the bridge may set a precedent for others.

“The factor we don’t need is that this yacht concern will open the likelihood for shipbuilders to make use of it the identical manner,” he mentioned in an electronic mail to AP.

However there have been voices of assist for the proposal.

“I believe it’s fantastic. Let Bezos pay a excessive worth. It creates work. I solely see upsides,“ mentioned Rotterdam resident Ria van den Vousten.

“Whether it is paid for and everyone makes some cash, don’t complain. Don’t speak, however act, as we are saying in Rotterdam,” she added.


Corder reported from The Hague.


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