Rotterdam may dismantle historic bridge for $637M superyacht linked to Jeff Bezos

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Rotterdam would possibly partly dismantle a historical bridge to make approach for a major yacht reportedly owned via billionaire Jeff Bezos.

The Dutch city is considering a request by a nearby shipbuilding company to put off the mid-component to the century-old Koningshaven Bridge — identified to locals as De Hef — to clear passage for a superyacht associated with the Amazon founder.

it is the handiest approach the boat, that is being built on the Oceanco shipyard in the nearby city of Alblasserdam, can get to sea. 

“Relatively so much of people are moderately mad about it,” Coun. Stephan Leewis advised Because It Happens host Carol Off. “It really has the sensation like there’s a other set of rules for people like Mr. Bezos.”

a countrywide monument 

De Hef, constructed in 1927, used to be the town’s first railway bridge. It was once taken out of service within the mid-’90s and replaced with a tunnel. Public protests spared it from demolition, and it used to be sooner or later declared a countrywide monument and underwent a three-year renovation procedure that ended in 2017. 

the middle component of the bridge may also be raised to allow ships to go underneath, however it sounds as if not top enough for the superyacht’s FORTY-metre masts. 

Leewis referred to as De Hef “one of the great monuments we’ve in the town” and says must be secure.

De Hef was decommissioned within the mid-’90s and later declared a national monument. (Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters)

In Advance this week, Rotterdamn officials informed journalists the city had authorized Oceanco’s plan to dismantle the bridge, sparking backlash among some native citizens and lawmakers.

However on Thursday night, town walked again that commentary and said no such plan has but been approved.

In an emailed remark to As It Happens on Friday, town spokesperson Netty Kros says the shipbuilder must formally follow for a allow to get the ball rolling.

“After the allow application is submitted, it’ll be assessed on a host of issues,” Kros said.

“Consideration can be paid to numerous aspects, corresponding to financial significance (i.e. employment created via development this send), imaginable environmental nuisance, monetary effects (all the costs will be borne through the applicant), and dangers that could impact the protection of the monument.”

The Bezos connection

Kros says residents don’t have to pay a dime for the undertaking as “the applicant” can be responsible for footing the invoice. But town spokesperson wouldn’t clarify whether or not that refers to the yacht’s proprietor, the shipbuilding corporate, or each.

Neither the Kros nor Oceanco may expose who owns the huge unfinished yacht, known as Y721.

However according to Bloomberg News and Dutch broadcaster Rijnmond, it’s being built for Amazon founder and executive chairman Jeff Bezos, one among the richest people in the global. 

Rotterdam may dismantle historic bridge for $637M superyacht linked to Jeff Bezos

Aerial footage of the huge yacht, known as Y721, in a Dutch shipyard. (Dutch Yachting/Reuters)

Bloomberg estimates the boat can be 127 metres lengthy and raise a value tag of $500 million US ($637,417,500 Cdn).

“It looks like a normal yacht, but then given steroids,” Leewis said.

Neither Bezos nor Amazon spoke back to a request for comment. 

Residents divided 

Proponents of the plan say the construction of the vessel and others like it deliver jobs to the country.

“It creates work. I handiest see upsides,” Rotterdam resident Ria van den Vousten told The Related Press. “If it’s paid for and everyone makes a few money, do not complain. Do Not communicate, but act, as we say in Rotterdam.”

However no longer everyone sees eye to eye. Resident Matthias Van Der Wilt informed Reuters dismantling the bridge would be “stupid.”

“The extra money you’ve gotten, the extra energy you get, although it goes against principles of the town,” Van Der Wilt said. 


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Leewis, meanwhile, says he is involved approximately setting a precedent. He says his birthday party will formally has town to disclaim the allow during a council assembly next week. 

“If Mr. Bezos has this send, then almost certainly some other billionaire will need to have some other ship that is somewhat tiny bit larger than this ship. Are we going to dismantle this bridge each and every part a year?” he said.

Written by means of Sheena Goodyear with information from Reuters and The Associated Press. Interview with Stephan Leewis produced by Chris Harbord.

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