Dutch city to take down bridge temporarily to accommodate Jeff Bezos’ new yacht

Officials in the Dutch port of Rotterdam have agreed to spend weeks dismantling a historic bridge to accommodate Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ new yacht. 

The boat, a 417-foot long, three-masted ship that reportedly cost $500 million, is currently under construction in the Netherlands. But it will be too tall to pass under the Koningshaven Bridge, which has a 130-foot clearance, according to the NL Times, which cited Dutch-language outlet Rijnmond.

Mr. Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, and boat maker Oceano asked the city to temporarily take apart the bridge, saying they would cover the expenses for the job. The project should take more than two weeks, according to Rijnmond. 

Officials said they viewed the project as a revenue generator. 

“From an economic perspective and maintaining employment, the municipality considers this a very important project,” municipal project leader Marcel Walravens said. “In addition, Rotterdam has also been declared the maritime capital of Europe. Shipbuilding and activity within that sector are therefore an important pillar of the municipality.”

But not all leaders approve of the project. Rotterdam politician Stephan Leewis cited disagreement with the business practices of Mr. Bezos’s massive company. 

“This man has earned his money by structurally cutting staff, evading taxes, avoiding regulations — and now we have to tear down our beautiful national monument?” Mr. Leewis said.

Mr. Bezos’ Y721 yacht is one of the biggest ever built in the Netherlands, a common construction site for the wealthy, according to Bloomberg. 

The boat’s mast is so tall that it could present a hazard for helicopters in the area. Mr. Bezos’ solution to this was to commission a support boat with a helipad to accommodate choppers flying nearby. 

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