Rotterdam evaluates dismantling bridge for superyacht that would be Bezos

(CNN Business) — Rotterdam is considering a request to dismantle part of a historic bridge to allow a superyacht, allegedly owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, to leave the shipyard where it is being built.

The Dutch city has received a request from a local shipbuilder to remove the center section of the historic Koningshaven Bridge so a superyacht can sail out to sea, authorities said in a statement to CNN Business on Friday.

Rotterdam officials said the shipyard has yet to apply for a permit. The city explained that it would consider the preservation of the bridge structure along with the impact on the environment and the local economy, including jobs in the shipbuilding industry, before approving the permit.

The shipbuilder would have to pay for the dismantling of the bridge, the city added. An extensive renovation of the Koningshaven Bridge, known to locals as “De Hef,” was completed in 2017 and city officials vowed it would never be dismantled again, according to Dutch public broadcaster Rijnmond.

The other bridges that are on the route between the shipyard and the sea would not have to be altered, city officials said.

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The superyacht that supposedly belongs to Bezos

Rijnmond identified the shipyard as Oceanco, which builds custom yachts. Oceanco is building a 127 meter long ship known as Y721 in Rotterdam, according to Boat International. The ship, which has three masts, will be the tallest sailing yacht in the world when its delivery is completed later this year, the specialized publication reported.

The superyacht was commissioned by Bezos, according to Dutch media and journalist Brad Stone, who reported in his book “Amazon Unbound” last year that the billionaire’s future plans include a 127-meter schooner being built by Oceanco.

Oceanco and Blue Originthe space flight services company founded by Bezos, did not respond to requests for comment.

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Bezos is the third richest person in the world, with a net worth of $164 billion. according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. News that a historic bridge may have to be temporarily dismantled later this year in his name has angered some Rotterdam residents.

“I think it’s one of the few more examples … that the more money you have, the more power you have,” resident Matthias Van Der Wilt, 20, told Reuters.

If the city approves the permit after “Bezos offers some money,” it would show officials “have no character,” he added.

AnneClaire Stapleton and Wayne Chang contributed reporting.

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