Video: Jeff Bezos’ boat sails through Rotterdam bridge (on its way to the shipyard)
A Rotterdam Bridge is going to be dismantled so that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ boat can sail through it, local media is reporting. The bridge, which is to be pulled apart, is called The Koningshavenbrug, and is known to locals as De Hef. It was renovated in 2017 and the council promised at the time they wouldn’t dismantle it again.
Local broadcaster Rijnmond said on Wednesday that this pledge is set to be broken to let Bezos’ yacht, which is still under construction, through. The bridge, placed over the river in 1927, is an important part of the city’s history and was seriously damaged during the bombing of Rotterdam in May 1940.
According to Rotterdam Pages, “In Rotterdam the Koningshaven bridge is mostly popular as the De Hef. Because it is a lift bridge from 1927. The De Hef part stands for lift.”
“Actually from 1877 until 1927 the Koningshavenbrug in Rotterdam was a swing bridge causing a smaller passage. As a result many ship-collisions against the bridge pillars. With the last collision in 1918. Hence the decision for a lift bridge by the engineer P. Joosting,” Rotterdam Pages adds.
Rotterdam Pages adds: “During World War II the De Hef in Rotterdam was damaged and fixed for the trains. Nowadays the bridge is a monument. The lift part is 52 meters long and moves up 45 meters. Still the bridge decks in the Nieuwe Maas river are from 1877. The highest point of the bridge is at 70 meters.”
I can’t wait for billionaire bootlickers to defend his $500,000,000 yacht needing to get through.
— Tim Hendricks (@Saltwatertattoo) February 2, 2022
The bridge is now a protected monument. But in this era of the metaverse and global shipping, it appears nothing is safe from the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos: as Dutch News.nl reportts, “Bezos’ three-masted yacht is being built by the Oceano shipyard in Alblasserdam but is too big to pass under the bridge when the central section is raised to its full height.”
“Now Oceano and Bezos have approached the council about temporarily dismantling the bridge at their cost.”
Dutch News.nl cites broadcaster Rijnmond, who claimed city officials were willing to dismantle the bridge, despite the resistence of local history experts. According to Dutch News.nl: Ton Wesselink of the local history society Historisch Genootschap Roterodamum said: “Jobs are important, but there are limits with what you can and should do with our industrial heritage.”
Dutch News.nl also reported that “project leader Marcel Walravens said: ‘it is about a ship with high masts which cannot pass through the bridge. The only alternative is to take out the middle section,'” and that he hopes that the middle section of the bridge will only need to be removed for one day, if the project is done with enough preparation.
Bezos’ 127 metre long boat is going to be the biggest in the world, Boat International reports.
On Reddit, there was a bit of blowback to the project, with members of the r/worldnews community writing such comments as “Promises are cheap” and “I hope everyone in that town lines the river bank and sprays that fucking boat with paint balls.”
Another wrote: “How many of you would buy a massive yacht if you had Bezos money? It’s just so damn gaudy. Does he even have enough friends to have a party on it? Is it just him and his wife and the crew on there?”
“Maybe I’d have a sail boat or something but I feel you have to be a jackass to buy a YACHT.”
Others blamed the government: “So they rebuild a bridge and block access to one of their own companies that make ships. And it is the customer’s fault?”
Meanwhile, others blamed the shipyard: “Sounds like the shipyard’s fault. They never should have taken the contract if they knew they couldn’t get the ship out of their yard without dismantling the bridge. The local authorities should say no, and let the shipyard be stuck with a yacht they can’t deliver to its new owner.”
Another opined: “They probably checked with whatever agency during their bidding on the contract, or during negotiation. The agency gave them a price for whatever it’ll cost to remove whatever parts of the bridge and put it back, and they factored that in.”
“Or, they did it and hoped, and know that they’ll have plenty of cash to pay whatever it’ll cost. It’s a 1-day ‘dismantling’ and rebuild, they aren’t changing much.”
Time will tell. In the meantime check out these other outlandish superyacht stories, or check out this wild footage of a mega yacht squeezing through pancake thin Dutch canals.