Dutch to Dismantle 1920s Bridge to Fit Jeff Bezos’ Yacht

Dutch to Dismantle 1920s Bridge to Fit Jeff Bezos’ Yacht

A city in the Netherlands will temporarily disassemble a bridge built in 1927 to make room for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ mega-yacht, according to Dutch press reports.

The Amazon founder’s $500 million boat, built by Netherlands-based Oceanco and scheduled to be completed soon, measures 417 feet long and must pass through Rotterdam, under its landmark bridge, to reach its owner, NL Times reported. The problem? The Koninginnebrug bridge, a steel bridge nicknamed De Hef, isn’t tall enough to accommodate the ship’s three masts, which exceed the 130 feet of clearance the bridge offers.

Bezos and Rotterdam officials have come up with a solution. The city will remove the central section of the bridge to make way for the yacht, the largest ever built in the Netherlands, Rotterdam spokesperson Frances Van Heijst told the NL Times.

Rotterdam officials yielded to the billionaire, the world’s second-richest person, given the significance of the project to the local economy. Rotterdam council project leader Marcel Walravens called the construction of the superyacht “a very important project” economically, according to local broadcaster Rijnmond. Dismantling the bridge was the “only alternative,” he said.

Oceano will pay for the cost of dismantling operation, according to van Heijst. The shipbuilder did not immediately reply to a request for comment from CBS MoneyWatch. It’s unclear if Bezos, who is worth roughly $176 billion, will pay for any of the disassembly cost.

Some locals opposed making the concession to one of the richest people on the planet. Protesters have even organized an event on Facebook at which they will gather to throw eggs at Bezos’ yacht when it is scheduled to pass under the bridge in June.

“Rotterdam was built from the rubble by the people of Rotterdam, and we don’t just take that apart for the phallic symbol of a megalomaniac billionaire. Not without a fight!!” event organizers wrote on Facebook.

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