Yacht reportedly constructed for Bezos too massive for Dutch bridge

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — An enormous, $500 million yacht reportedly being constructed for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos faces a supply downside: It might require dismantling a beloved, historic bridge in Rotterdam that’s blocking its passage to the ocean.

Reviews this week that the Dutch metropolis had already agreed to take aside the lately renovated Koningshaven Bridge, identified domestically as De Hef, sparked anger. On Fb, locals are proposing to pelt the yacht with rotten eggs when it passes by means of.

Nonetheless, a spokeswoman for Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb instructed The Related Press on Friday that whereas a shipbuilder has requested briefly taking aside the bridge this summer time, no allow has but been sought or granted.

Many Rotterdam residents are nonetheless involved.

“I feel it’s simple to know why it’s so controversial as a result of it is a very stunning, lately restored previous bridge,“ mentioned Lizette Touber. “It truly is our heritage. And I feel that if the wealthy will pay for it to be opened, which usually no one else might do, you then 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 based mostly on elements together with financial affect, environmental nuisance and doable dangers to the “monumental construction” of the bridge.

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

The municipality declined to touch upon who owns the yacht in query or establish the shipbuilder. An e-mail despatched to Amazon in search of remark went unanswered. A report by Bloomberg in Could 2021 mentioned the yacht was being constructed for Bezos by Oceanco at a price of “upwards of $500 million.”

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 led to 2017. The center part of the bridge could 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 by means of the bridge might set a precedent for others.

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

However there have been voices of assist for the proposal.

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

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


Corder reported from The Hague.


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