Jeff Bezos to deconstruct Dutch bridge to transport new “superyacht”
By Catrin Jones and Paige HaeffeleFebruary 16, 2022
Authorities in Rotterdam, Netherlands have agreed to dismantle the historic De Hef Bridge to allow a “superyacht” built for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to pass through to the open seas. This is seen as a controversial decision due to the city council previously promising not to touch the national monument after its restoration in 2017.
The yacht will measure over 415 feet in length, according to Boating International. “Once delivered... she [will] become the world’s largest sailing yacht.”
Bezos commissioned a Dutch company to build the three-masted yacht, which when completed will exceed the bridge’s approximate 130-foot clearance. The company asked the township to dismantle the central structure, with Bezos footing the bill.
According to the Rotterdam Historical Society, city officials had promised not to touch the bridge after its restoration in 2017.
Ton Wesselink, the president of the Rotterdam Historical Society, confirmed the city council has already authorized the dismantling of the bridge. “There will always be a risk of damage,” says Wesselink.
What is sure to be considered by many to be an outlandish demand only serves to increase widespread scrutiny and mistrust of Bezos.
According to the Harvard Business Review, the commonly held negative public perception of Bezos comes in part from a popular perception of Amazon as a company with “poor working conditions and employment policies, data security and antitrust issues.”
This opinion was reinforced after his trip into outer space last summer. While merely a dream for most, for Bezos, the approximately $5.5-billion trip was worth less than half of a day’s wages, according to Time magazine.
With this in mind, it’s clear that the cost of deconstructing the bridge built in 1877 and then rebuilding it would barely make a dent in his net worth, which is currently reported at approximately $181 billion.
Marcel Walravens, who is in charge of the De Hef bridge, stressed the job creation of the bridge dismantling project was a major consideration in agreeing to it. The city council has said the hope is to remove the center part of the bridge in a matter of days and hopefully put it back together within a week.
Bezos isn’t the only U.S. billionaire with lofty goals. Last year, Elon Musk took a step closer toward his plan to construct a network of tunnels beneath the city of Las Vegas that would connect hotel casinos with the Las Vegas Convention Center, the city’s new football stadium and McCarran International Airport.