Local officials have confirmed that a historic steel bridge in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam would be partially demolished to facilitate the passage of a superyacht constructed for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Bezos’ massive 430-million-euro ($485-million) boat is too large for the Koningshaven Bridge, which dates from 1878 and was rebuilt after being attacked by the Nazis during WWII.
The shipyard in Alblasserdam, near Rotterdam, building the three-masted monster, has requested the local authority to remove the bridge’s middle portion to pass through.
“It’s the only route to the sea,” a representative for Rotterdam’s mayor said in a statement, adding that the Amazon owner will pay the process.
The decision has enraged some in the Netherlands, as the local government vowed following a massive repair in 2017 that it would never again demolish the bridge, affectionately known as De Hef by Rotterdam residents.
The mayor’s administration emphasized the economic advantages and employment provided by the boat’s construction but stated that the bridge would be reconstructed in its existing shape.
According to Dutch media, the center portion of the massive steel-girded bridge will be dismantled to allow adequate clearance for the 40-meter (130-foot) high boat. The procedure will take a few weeks and is scheduled to take place this summer.