Wednesday, March 29

Rotterdam Bridge, 1; Jeff Bezos, 0

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After much ado, it turns out that Rotterdam won’t have to dismantle its historic Koningshaven Bridge so that Jeff Bezos’ new yacht, the largest sailboat in the world, can pass through on its way to the sea.

Oceanco, the superyacht builder with its plant upstream from the bridge, will not apply for a permit to temporarily dismantle the central section of the bridge, according to reports from Rotterdam city officials.

The builder apparently was worried about the backlash and stories of threats since it announced last February that it would seek a permit to dismantle the center section of the bridge, with a clearance of 152.5 feet. Bezos’ yacht has three masts reaching 416 feet.

Oceanco said it would pay for all the costs of dismantling and restoring the bridge, which would take two days or so. Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is one of the richest people in the world.

The outcry was immediate. A Facebook page was created urging Rotterdam residents to throw eggs at the yacht as it passed through.

The Koningshaven Bridge, was opened in 1927; it was the first lift bridge in the Netherlands. Known as “De Hef” (The Lift), it was destroyed by the Germans in 1940 during the Second World War, but it was later repaired. It is no longer in use, but it remains an icon for the city.

Rotterdam has the busiest port in Europe, and it’s a main hub for shipbuilding. It’s not clear what will happen to Bezos’ yacht now.

He commissioned the yacht from Oceanco in 2018, at a cost of about $500 million. It was known as Y721.

Regardless of the fate of Y721, Bezos will not be without a superyacht. The Damen yard, also in The Netherlands, is building a shadow yacht for him that’s 246-feet long and can hold 45 guests and crew. It has a helipad, of course, and a large conference space. Read more:





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