Amazon founder and Billionaire Jeff Bezos has ordered the dismantling of the historical Rotterdam bridge. Why? So he can sail his magnificent yacht through it.
The Koningshaven Bridge of Rotterdam in the Netherlands was built in 1877. However, the bridge was damaged during World War II and was restored in 2014 and 2017. The officials swore to never dismantle it again. Little had they expected for Jeffery Bezos, the third richest person in the world, to come sailing around town in his three-mast, 417-foot yacht worth $485 million. The megayacht, supposedly the largest of its kind, is currently under construction in Alblasserdam by shipbuilding company Oceanco. However, the height of the Koningshaven Bridge is only 131-feet tall, making Bezos’ yacht passage impossible.
The Official Reaction
The mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, told Dutch newspaper NL times that no decision had been taken yet, not even an application for a permit. He said the municipality would first assess the potential impacts – if they could dismantle without much damage and who would cover the costs.
“Normally, it’s the other way around – If your ship does not fit under a bridge, you make it smaller. But when you happen to be the richest person on Earth, you just ask a municipality to dismantle a monument. That’s ridiculous”, he said.
However, municipal project leader Marcel Walravens stated that the project would proceed for logistical and economic reasons. He said they couldn’t build the ship on one side, pass through the bridge, and complete it on the other side. “At the Koningenne Bridge, we can press a button, and it opens. That’s not possible here because De Hef has a maximum height,” he stated in the NL times article. “The only alternative is to take the middle part of the bridge out.”
This news did not sit well with the locals. Some residents of Rotterdam posted a Facebook event for welcoming Bezos’ yacht with eggs. 13,000 people are “interested” in attending the event. Nearly 4,000 have marked their attendance for the event titled “Throwing eggs at superyacht Jeff Bezos”. The campaign quickly became viral after a few thousand shares.
This isn’t Bezos’ first altercation with the general public. Back in July 2021, the billionaire announced his 11-minute journey to space. Around 10,000 protesters then signed a petition to stop Bezos from coming back to Earth.