The Dutch city of Rotterdam has agreed to dismantle a historic bridge, in order to allow a $500 million superyacht reportedly built for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to pass through.
According to Netty Kros, a spokeswoman for Rotterdam, the middle section of the 95-year-old Koningshaven Bridge — known locally as “De Hef” — would be removed this summer, allowing Bezos’ 417-foot sailboat to pass. The bridge will then be immediately restored.
The Oceanco sailing yacht, dubbed Y721, was “reportedly commissioned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and is set to become the world’s largest sailing yacht when delivered later this year, unseating the current titleholder Sea Cloud,” Boat International wrote.
According to Boat International, Marcel Walravens — who managed the bridge’s large-scale restoration in 2017 — told Rijnmond that it was “not practical” to complete the vessel’s build elsewhere.
“If you carry out a big job somewhere, you want all your tools in that place,” Walravens said. “Otherwise you have to go back and forth constantly. In addition, this is such a large project that there are hardly any locations where this work is finished.”
“From an economic perspective and maintaining employment, the municipality considers this a very important project. Rotterdam has also been declared the maritime capital of Europe. Shipbuilding and activity within that sector are therefore an important pillar for the municipality,” he added.
The outlet noted that Y721 is the longest yacht to have been built in the Netherlands, and the largest ever by Oceanco.
“Bezos’s superyacht, which likely will cost upwards of $500 million to build and have its own support yacht with a helipad, is the latest accessory — along with the Washington Post, the movies, the tabloid scandal — heralding the Amazon mogul’s transformation from geeky technologist to globe-trotting megabillionaire,” Bloomberg reported.
The New York Times wrote that Siebe Thissen, the author of the book “The Boy Who Jumped From the Bridge,” about a working-class man who jumped from the Rotterdam bridge in 1933, described the bridge as “a monument.”
“It’s the identity of Rotterdam,” he said.
One of Bezos’ many other areas of investment has been the colonization of space through his Blue Origin exploration company. Critics have argued that he should focus on solving Earth’s problems before looking beyond our planet.
“We need to conserve what we still have, we need to restore what we’ve lost, we need to completely transform our food systems and grow what we need to live in a new way that doesn’t degrade the Earth,” he said at a conference in New York, as reported by The Daily Wire.
“There’s a tremendous amount to be done in the here and now and we cannot forget about that. But at the same time, in a deeply connected way, we need to look to the future.”
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.