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Jeff Bezos to dismantle historic Dutch bridge for $450 million yacht

The koningshaven bridge was built in 1878 and repaired after bombing in world war ii.

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Jeff Bezos will pay for Rotterdam to partially dismantle a nearly 145-year-old bridge so he can sail his $485 million super yacht out after finishing construction on the vessel. 

The Oceanco shipyard in Alblasserdam near Rotterdam has nearly completed the construction of Y721 , the former Amazon CEO’s yacht, but the vessel is too big to sail out with the bridge as it is. The builders asked the local council to remove the bridge’s central section so the yacht can pass. 

Bezos Yacht Holland Rotterdam Oceanco

Jeff Bezos' superyacht in the Oceanco shipyard. The $485 million vessel will have a height over 130 feet.  (Courtesy Tom van Oossanen/IG: @tomvanoossanen)

"It's the only route to the sea," a spokesman for the mayor of Rotterdam told AFP , adding that billionaire Bezos, 57, would pay for the operation. The super yacht, which will be the largest boat built in Oceanco and one of the largest ever built, requires a 130-foot clearance, at least, to pass through. 

SHIRTLESS JEFF BEZOS COZIES UP TO GIRLFRIEND LAUREN SANCHEZ ON YACHT DURING ST. BARTS GETAWAY

The Koningshaven Bridge, known to locals as De Hef, dates from 1878 but was rebuilt after the Nazis bombed it in 1940 during World War II. The local council replaced the original swing bridge design after several traffic jams and collisions, changing it to a lifting bridge. 

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The local council completed a major repair on the bridge in 2017 and promised not to dismantle the bridge again. 

KIM KARDASHIAN, PETE DAVIDSON HAVE DINNER AT JEFF BEZOS' LA MANSION

The shipbuilders dismissed suggestions that they sail a partially-finished vessel down the river and finish it elsewhere. Marcel Walravens, who managed the renovation, said it would prove impractical. 

Bezos Yacht Holland Rotterdam Oceanco

"If you carry out a big job somewhere, you want all your tools in that place," Walravens told Rijnmond . "Otherwise you have to go back and forth constantly."

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Walravens noted that the municipality considers the project "very important." 

"Rotterdam has also been declared the maritime capital of Europe," he explained. "Shipbuilding and activity within that sector are therefore an important pillar for the municipality."

jeff bezos yacht bridge removal cost

Jeff Bezos gets a historic Dutch bridge dismantled so his $500 million yacht can pass

The rich are different from you and me, as the writer Scott Fitzgerald once said. More proof (if any is needed) is a deal struck between Amazon founder and executive chairman Jeff Bezos and officials in the Dutch city of Rotterdam to dismantle a historical landmark, so he can move his brand-new superyacht from the shipyard to the open sea.

In negotiations revealed this week, Rotterdam officials agreed to take apart (and later reassemble) the steel Koningshaven bridge that spans Europe’s busiest cargo port, and which has stood in place since 1927. That is in order for Bezos’s new 412-foot vessel—one of the biggest private yachts on the planet —to leave its construction site and set sail. The bridge is one of Rotterdam’s best-known local landmarks, called a “must-see” by one tourist on Tripadvisor.

It is a “must-remove” for Bezos, however. His vessel—estimated to cost about $500 million to build— includes three 229-foot masts , too tall to sail under the bridge, which has the height of a 13-story building and a clearance of 131 feet.

That meant the bridge, which locals affectionately call “De Hef,” or “the lever,” has to be temporarily taken apart sometime this summer and then reconstructed once Bezos’s yacht leaves town.

“On the one hand, economic importance, employment, due to the construction of this ship. On the other hand, our concern for De Hef,” Rotterdam spokeswoman Frances van Heijst told the Washington Post (which is owned by Bezos), to explain the thinking behind the decision. “We attach great importance to preserving employment,” she said, adding that the city would not cover the costs of removing and reassembling the bridge.

That was hardly reassuring to some politicians.

“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?” Stephan Leewis, a member of the Rotterdam council from the environmental party GroenLinks , told the local broadcaster Rijnmond, which broke the news on Wednesday. “That is really a bridge too far,” he said.

The deal also sparked anger among preservationists. “Jobs are important,” Ton Wesselink of Rotterdam’s historical society Historisch Genootschap Roterodamum told Rijnmond . “But there are limits with what you can and should do with our industrial heritage.”

Yet there are few limits, it seems, to what can be negotiated by a tech titan like Bezos, whose wealth grew by $5 billion last year to $195 billion, making him the world’s second richest individual after Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Last September, Bezos committed $1 billion to climate projects—including those focused on restoring the oceans.

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Jeff Bezos Is Having an Historic Dutch Bridge Dismantled So His Massive $485 Million Gigayacht Can Pass

The billionaire is reportedly footing the bill for the operation., rachel cormack.

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Koninginnebrug Bridge

Nothing can stop Jeff Bezos from getting his new $485 million superyacht —not even a historic 144-year-old bridge, apparently.

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A spokesperson for the mayor of Rotterdam confirmed that the center section of the bridge, known by locals as De Hef, will be temporarily removed to accommodate the record-breaking vessel. The mayor’s office also added that Bezos would foot the bill for the operation.

Unsurprisingly, the Amazon founder, who is currently the world’s second-richest person with a net worth of $176 billion, has copped quite a bit of backlash for what we’ll now refer to as Bridgegate. For context, Koningshaven Bridge, which dates back to 1878, has been through a Nazi bombing and is now a national monument. It also recently went through a major renovation that saw it out of action from 2014 to 2017. At the time, officials said it would not be dismantled again.

The mayor’s office did emphasize that there were a number of economic benefits from the vessel’s build, specifically the number of jobs created. He also promised that the bridge would be rebuilt in its current form. With any luck Bridgegate won’t last long, but the process won’t happen overnight. In fact, it’s slated to take few weeks for the megayacht to pass the finally pass the bridge, and it will be carried out this summer.

Rachel Cormack is a digital editor at Robb Report. She cut her teeth writing for HuffPost, Concrete Playground, and several other online publications in Australia, before moving to New York at the…

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Jeff Bezos’s New Superyacht to Force Dismantling of Dutch Bridge

Early morning sunshine on the River Maas and de Hef railway bridge, Koningshaven

J eff Bezos’s massive new superyacht is nearing completion, but getting it to its owner will require taking out a bridge.

The 417-foot-long sailing yacht, code-named Y721, is being built by Alblasserdam, Netherlands-based Oceanco. For the boat to reach the ocean, it will have to pass through Rotterdam, and navigate a landmark steel bridge known as De Hef. A lift bridge, De Hef’s central span can be raised more than 130 feet into the air, but that’s still not high enough to accommodate the yacht’s three giant masts.

So the city has agreed to temporarily take apart the bridge’s central section this summer for Bezos’s yacht to pass through, according to Frances van Heijst, a Rotterdam spokeswoman. The NL Times reported the bridge plan earlier Wednesday.

The Y721 will be one of the largest sailing yachts ever built in the Netherlands, the unofficial capital of boat building for the very wealthy. Rotterdam council project leader Marcel Walravens defended the city’s decision to allow the bridge to be dismantled, telling local broadcaster Rijnmond it was the “only alternative” to complete what the municipality considers “a very important project” economically.

Oceanco, and not the city, will foot the cost of the bridge demolition, van Heijst said. It’s likely some of those costs will be passed on to Bezos, the world’s second-richest person with a net worth of $175.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

De Hef is considered an icon of Rotterdam’s industrial heritage as a shipbuilding hub, and news of its partial demolition has caused a stir among locals.

“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?” Rotterdam politician Stephan Leewis wrote on Twitter. “That is really going a bridge too far.”

It’s not the first headache caused by Y721’s tall masts. The enormity of the yacht’s sails will make it unsafe to land a helicopter onboard, so Bezos has commissioned a support yacht equipped with a helipad to trail alongside.

Surging levels of personal wealth pushed superyacht sales to record levels last year. A total of 887 such ships were sold in 2021, a 77% jump from a year earlier and more than double the number in 2019, according to a report from maritime data firm VesselsValue. Boat builder Burgess reported more than 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in superyacht sales last year.

—With assistance from Brad Stone.

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Rotterdam Won’t Dismantle Bridge to Allow Jeff Bezos’ Superyacht Through

The Dutch city faced an uproar as it considered dismantling a section of a 95-year-old bridge. Now the boat’s builder has decided not to apply for a permit.

jeff bezos yacht bridge removal cost

By Claire Moses

Jeff Bezos will not be able to sail a new, more than 400-foot-long superyacht through the waters of the Dutch city of Rotterdam anytime soon.

The port city faced an uproar months ago as it considered dismantling a section of a 95-year-old bridge to allow the Amazon founder’s yacht to pass. But now the boat’s builder, the Dutch company Oceanco, has decided to refrain from applying for a permit, according to a Rotterdam City Council member.

It was unclear how Mr. Bezos’ yacht would leave the area or whether Oceanco would finish the boat. The company did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday and Thursday. An Amazon spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.

The yacht was supposed to sail through the Koningshaven Bridge, known locally as “De Hef,” over the summer and was on track to become the largest sailing yacht in the world at 417 feet, according to the superyacht industry publication Boat International. The bridge does not have enough clearance for the yacht , which was being built in a nearby town.

Because Oceanco is no longer seeking an application, the middle part of the bridge will not be removed for now, according to a public letter from the councilman, Vincent Karremans . The dismantling process takes about a day, as does putting it back together, according to Peter van Druten, a spokesman for the city of Rotterdam.

De Hef opened in 1927 and was the first vertical lift bridge in the Netherlands, but it is no longer in use. It has been dismantled before — most recently in 2017 for a renovation, Mr. van Druten said. The bridge is “an icon for the city,” he said.

The full cost of the dismantling would have been covered by Oceanco, the city said, and the bridge would have immediately been restored afterward.

City officials told reporters in February that Rotterdam had agreed to briefly dismantle the bridge to allow Mr. Bezos’ yacht to go through. But after backlash, they walked back that statement and said a decision had not been made.

A Facebook event at the time invited residents of the city to throw eggs at the boat. “Dismantling De Hef for Jeff Bezos’s latest toy? Come throw eggs … !” the event’s organizer wrote in February.

Then last month, the Dutch newspaper Trouw reported that Oceanco had decided not to apply for the permit out of fear of vandalism and threats.

“That’s worrisome — the ship builder is just doing his job,” said Dieke van Groningen, a Rotterdam council member for VVD, the Dutch liberal party.

Responses so far were mixed. Some people applauded the fact that the city would not have to bend to the will of Mr. Bezos. Facebook posts by the Dutch public in response to the news included sentiments like: “Class! Keep your spine straight for such oligarchs,” and “Let him get that thing with his own rocket.”

“We’re happy it’s not happening,” said Marvin Biljoen, a councilman for GroenLinks, the Dutch Green Party. “The bridge is a national monument, which shouldn’t be altered too much. That you could still do that with money anyway bothers us.”

But others believed it would have been a good opportunity for the city.

“I talk to a lot of residents of Rotterdam,” Ms. van Groningen, the VVD councilwoman, said. “They’re incredibly proud that these kinds of ships sail through our city.”

Rotterdam is the biggest port in Europe and a main hub for shipbuilding, including superyachts.

“This is the Netherlands at its best,” Ms. van Groningen said. “It’s about the image of the port, and you should be proud of that.”

Claire Moses is a writer for The Morning based in London. Before joining The Times in 2017, she worked at BuzzFeed News and other news outlets. She is originally from the Netherlands. More about Claire Moses

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Rotterdam Now Won't Dismantle a Historic Bridge for Jeff Bezos's Superyacht

The Amazon founder's new sailing yacht is too tall to pass under the historic Koningshaven bridge.

rotterdam zugbrücke bridge

"We’re happy it’s not happening," Marvin Biljoen, a councilman for GroenLinks, the Dutch Green Party, told the New York Times . "T he bridge is a national monument, which shouldn’t be altered too much. That you could still do that with money anyway bothers us."

Last week, Oceano quietly towed the yacht up the river in the early hours of the morning to a different shipyard, and now, Bezos's boat is nearly completed. The YouTube channel Dutch Yachting shared a video of the boat, and it has three large masts completed:

Expect the superyacht to be on the open seas soon.

Original 2/7/22 : The European port of Rotterdam will dismantle part of its iconic Koningshaven bridge for Jeff Bezos. The billionaire's new yacht is being built in Alblasserdam, in the western Netherlands, and will be too tall to pass under the bridge.

"It's the only route to the sea," a spokesperson for the mayor of Rotterdam told AFP , confirming the news of the bridge's dismantling. According to Dutch news , ship builder Oceanco convinced the city to dismantle part of the bridge. The Rotterdam mayor's spokesperson also confirmed that Bezos would pay for the dismantling and rebuilding of the bridge.

In November, Oceano's chairman, Omani businessman Dr. Mohammed Al Barwani, spoke of the 127 meter (416 feet) sailing yacht the company was working on without mentioning Bezos. Later, Boat International identified the 127m yacht as the one commissioned by the Amazon founder.

The Koningshaven bridge, known locally as the De Hef bridge , was built in 1877. During World War II, the bridge was significantly damaged and rebuilt, subsequently recognized as a historic monument. Between 2014 and 2017, the bridge underwent a restoration, and officials promised it would not be dismantled again.

raised bridge over the rhine

"From an economic perspective and maintaining employment, the municipality considers this a very important project," Marcel Walravens, the leader of the proposed dismantling project, told Dutch broadcaster Rijnmond . "Rotterdam has also been declared the maritime capital of Europe. Shipbuilding and activity within that sector are therefore an important pillar for the municipality." Walravens says the project will likely take place sometime this summer.

Dennis Tak, a Labor Party city councilor, said he was OK with the dismantling of the Koningshaven bridge because Bezos is paying for it, and it would create jobs. "As a city, this is a great way to take some of his money," Tak told the New York Times .

Dutch residents are not happy, however; they plan to throw rotten eggs at Jeff Bezos's superyacht as it passes through the Rotterdam harbor. Business Insider reports Rotterdam locals are planning an event called "Throwing eggs at Jeff Bezos' superyacht" in protest.

"Calling all Rotterdammers, take a box of rotten eggs with you and let's throw them en masse at Jeff's superyacht when it sails through the Hef in Rotterdam," the event description reads on Facebook. "Rotterdam was built from the rubble by the people of Rotterdam, and we don't just take that apart for the phallic symbol of a megalomaniac billionaire. Not without a fight!" 3,300 people have RSVP'd as going, and 11,600 are interested in the event.

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When Bezos's yacht, known as Y721, is delivered later this year—after the bridge is dismantled—the boat will become the world's largest sailing yacht, a title that has been held for nearly a century by American socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post's 1931 boat Sea Cloud .

Along with making history as the largest sailing yacht, Bezos's Y271 is the longest yacht to have ever been built in the Netherlands, and Oceano's largest ever superyacht. It is also rumored to come with a "support yacht," also called a shadow vessel. The superyacht likely cost more than $500 million to build, per Bloomberg .

Bezos is also reportedly the owner of the Flying Fox, a $400 million megayacht.

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Emily Burack (she/her) is the Senior News Editor for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royals, and a range of other subjects. Before joining T&C, she was the deputy managing editor at Hey Alma , a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack on Twitter and Instagram .

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Part of a Dutch bridge will be dismantled so Jeff Bezos can get his new yacht

A Dutch firm is making the yacht. When it's done, it wont fit under a famous bridge in Rotterdam. The city decided to partially take apart the bridge and put it back together after the yacht passes.

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clock This article was published more than  2 years ago

Rotterdam to dismantle part of historic bridge so Jeff Bezos’s massive yacht can pass through

jeff bezos yacht bridge removal cost

Rotterdam has agreed to temporarily dismantle part of its historic Koningshaven Bridge so that Jeff Bezos’s 417-foot-long , three-mast yacht can pass through the waterway sometime this summer, according to a spokeswoman for the city.

The Dutch company Oceano has been building the massive vessel for an estimated $500 million in the nearby city of Alblasserdam. Once completed this year, the ship, known as Y721, will be the world’s largest sailing yacht, according to Boat International .

But to reach the open seas it must first pass through Rotterdam — considered the maritime capital of Europe — and the city’s historic steel bridge, locally known as De Hef, which has a clearance of just over 131 feet.

How did a ship get stuck in the Suez Canal, and what happened afterward?

Originally built in 1927, De Hef was a railway bridge and the first of its kind in Western Europe, with a central span that could be lifted to allow ship traffic to pass underneath. It was decommissioned in 1994 after being replaced by a tunnel, but later declared a national monument. The bridge underwent a major restoration from 2014 to 2017, after which the city said it would not be dismantled again, according to the Dutch broadcaster Rijnmond , which first reported on the yacht agreement.

Although the exact plans, timetable and costs have not been set, Oceano and Bezos will pay to dismantle the bridge, Rijnmond reported.

Frances van Heijst, the Rotterdam municipality spokeswoman, confirmed by phone that the city would not be footing the bill. She said the shipbuilder bears the cost of hiring a company to carry out the bridge’s deconstruction and reassembly, but that she could not provide an estimate or breakdown of the cost as “a lot of details need to be worked out.”

Representatives for Bezos and Oceano did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Van Heijst said by email that the city agreed to remove the middle part of the bridge after receiving the request and weighing the economic costs and benefits.

“On the one hand, [there is] the economic importance / employment due to the construction of this ship,” she said. “On the other hand, our concern for De Hef.”

Were permission to dismantle the bridge not provided, Oceano would likely have to sail a half-finished yacht under De Hef and then complete construction elsewhere.

“From an economic perspective, we attach great importance to preserving employment,” van Heijst said.

Inside America’s Broken Supply Chain How industry failures to collaborate and share information left the system vulnerable

Marcel Walravens, a municipality official working on De Hef related issues, told Rijnmond that he considered the removal of the middle part “maintenance” as afterward the bridge would be restored to its original form.

Others are more concerned.

“Jobs are important, but there are limits with what you can and should do with our industrial heritage,” Ton Wesselink, the head of a local history society, Historisch Genootschap Roterodamum, told the website Dutch News .

jeff bezos yacht bridge removal cost

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Jeff Bezos’s $500m yacht stealthily towed out of Dutch shipyard after bridge dismantling controversy

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Jeff Bezos ’s yacht was quietly towed out of a Dutch shipyard this week, German magazine Der Spiegel reports . The ship previously attracted boatloads of controversy after its manufacturer asked the city of Rotterdam to dismantle a historic bridge to let it through.

The yachting firm, Oceanco, eventually withdrew the request, and hauled the Amazon billionaire’s 417-foot vessel to the Greenport shipyard early Tuesday morning, taking a more obscure route outside the city center that didn’t require passing under the bridge in question.

Hanco Bol, a local yachting enthusiast, spotted the transport in progress around 3am and posted a detailed video of the three-hour journey on YouTube.

He speculated that the alternate route was chosen “to keep the launch and transport under wraps”.

"We never saw a transport going that fast," he wrote in the caption of his YouTube video

The Independent has contacted Oceanco for comment.

The yacht, dubbed Y721 and reportedly worth $500m, may have left its original docking in Alblasserdam, Netherlands, but it leaves a checkered reputation behind.

The project came in for a storm of criticism when the shipbuilder asked Rotterdam in February to temporarily take apart the Koningshaven Bridge, a nearly 100-year-old local landmark, to allow the massive, three-mast vessel to pass underneath it.

“There’s a principle at stake,” Stefan Lewis, a former City Council member, told The New York Times , describing the outrage from Rotterdammers. “What can you buy if you have unlimited cash? Can you bend every rule? Can you take apart monuments?”

Locals even planned to egg the yacht as it sailed to its next port.

In July, the Dutch newspaper Trouw reported that Oceanco withdrew its request to dismantle the bridge

"As a result of the reports, shipyard employees feel threatened and the company fears vandalism," Trouw reported, according to public records it uncovered.

Mr Bezos has positioned himself as a leading climate philanthropist, and plans to give away $10bn through his Bezos Earth Fund, but he also lives an extremely high-carbon lifestyle.

The former Amazon CEO is one of the biggest landholders in the US .

Superyachts like the Y721 emit about 1,500 times more carbon than a typical family car per year.

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Rotterdam Won't Dismantle Historic Bridge to Let Jeff Bezos' $500 Million Superyacht Pass

Bezos' yacht, the second-largest sailing vessel on earth, is too tall to fit under the 152-foot de hef bridge..

Image for article titled Rotterdam Won't Dismantle Historic Bridge to Let Jeff Bezos' $500 Million Superyacht Pass

A historic bridge in the Netherlands won’t be dismantled for Jeff Bezos superyacht, for now at least, after an outcry. As reported in the New York Times , Rotterdam is no longer going to take apart a nearly century-old bridge to allow Bezos’ new half-billion-dollar boat to leave its shipyard.

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In Netherlands’ second largest city the iconic bridge spans the city’s primary river, the Koningshaven Bridge. The railway bridge is more commonly referred to as De Hef, or the Lift to use the English translation. The descriptive moniker was likely earned because it was the first vertical-lift bridge in the country when it was constructed in 1927.

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De Hef has grown in stature and familiarity over the decades to become a landmark in Rotterdam. In 1993, there were plans to abandon the railway line and demolish the bridge. Protests against the proposal were large enough to not only prevent demolition, but also get the bridge protected as a Rijksmonument, a listed national monument. So to no one’s surprise, there was a similar outcry when the bridge was threatened almost three decades later.

De Hef in the late 1940s, as seen from the railway tracks

Last year, it was revealed that Jeff Bezos had commissioned a half-billion-dollar superyacht from Oceanco, a nearby yacht builder. Rotterdam is Europe’s largest port and there are plenty of shipbuilders across the region. De Hef is also a vertical-lift bridge for a reason. Tall ships further inland need to be able safely traverse the river Nieuwe Maas.

However, Bezos’ superyacht, the Y721, is too large to fit under De Hef. The middle section of the bridge rises to a height of 152.5 feet. The Y721 isn’t your run-of-the-mill miniature cruise ship, though. Not only does the ship actually have sails, but it’s also purported to be the second-largest sailing vessel on the planet. The only sailing yacht that’s larger is owned by a Russian oligarch, and is currently in the possession of Italian authorities after being seized in March.

Earlier this year, city officials in Rotterdam told local media that the bridge would be temporarily dismantled to allow the completed superyacht through. The bridge project would have been funded by the shipbuilder Oceanco. This was when a torrential outcry commenced on social media in opposition. The New York Times reported that a Rotterdammer had set up a Facebook event to organize people to egg the Y721 as it passed the dismantled De Hef.

In response, Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb denied previous statements about the potential passage. He even stated that a decision was never made as Oceanco never applied for a permit. Without De Hef’s dismantling, there isn’t a way for the Y721 to reach the open sea from Oceanco.

It should be mentioned that the lift span had been temporarily removed in the mid-2010s for the bridge to be renovated. Span removals shouldn’t be done lightly, though, especially on an almost century old protected bridge as construction accidents do happen. It shouldn’t be assumed that De Hef’s lift span could always be refitted to the rest of the bridge. A win for De Hef, for now.

The Dutch company building Jeff Bezos' megayacht scrapped its request to take apart a historic bridge following public outcry and threats to egg the ship

  • The shipbuilder behind Jeff Bezos' megayacht has scrapped plans to dismantle a historic bridge.
  • Bezos' yacht was too tall to pass underneath the bridge, but public outcry halted the plans. 
  • The company worried locals would vandalize the ship as it passed by, Dutch newspaper Trouw reported.

Insider Today

The Dutch shipbuilder constructing Jeff Bezos' megayacht scrapped its request that a historic bridge be dismantled to accommodate the Amazon founder's vessel. 

Oceanco, a Netherlands-based custom yacht builder, informed the city of Rotterdam that it would no longer be requesting a permit to remove the center portion of the Koningshaven Bridge, known locally as De Hef, to allow Bezos' yacht to reach the North Sea. That is according to a letter written by a city official and translated from Dutch to English using Google Translate. 

While the city didn't rule out the possibility of a future permit to dismantle the bridge, Oceanco isn't going forward with the plan for the time being, the letter says.

It seems that Oceanco may have abandoned its plans to take apart the bridge following public outcry earlier this year. Dutch newspaper Trouw obtained documents from the city through a freedom of information request that showed the shipbuilder was taken aback by the uproar and had opted to drop its plans. 

"As a result of the reports, shipyard employees feel threatened and the company fears vandalism," Trouw reported, according to a translation. 

It's unclear how the yacht will now be transported if it doesn't fit under the bridge, though Trouw reports that Oceanco could choose to finish it at a shipyard closer to the sea.

The company did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

A $500 million megayacht

Bezos' yacht saga began back in February, when  Dutch broadcaster Rijnmond reported that the 417-foot vessel would need to pass through Rotterdam — and underneath De Hef — on its way out to sea.

But Bezos' ship appears to be sail-assisted, which means it has three large masts, masts that are too tall to pass underneath the bridge despite its clearance of over 131 feet. The shipbuilder's solution was to temporarily remove the center portion of the bridge, then replace it once the vessel passed through. 

Frances van Heijst, a spokesperson for the municipality of Rotterdam, confirmed to Insider at the time that the city is able to grant permission to the maritime sector to take a ship to sea. But van Heijst told the Washington Post that the city would not pay to dismantle the bridge and reassemble it — that cost would fall to Oceanco.

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Objections to the plan were swift. Locals began organizing an event on Facebook to throw rotten eggs at the yacht when it passed by, describing Bezos as a "megalomaniac billionaire." 

The existence of Bezos' megayacht was  first reported in Brad Stone's book , "Amazon Unbound," in May 2021. Photos and videos published last October showed the yacht in a shipyard in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands — though the vessel was clearly unfinished, it appeared to have a black hull and multiple, massive decks.

Currently known only as Y721, the yacht is predicted to cost $500 million and is expected to be "one of the finest sailing yachts in existence," Stone reported.

Watch: Jeff Bezos on regulating giant tech companies: 'I expect us to be scrutinized'

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Historic Dutch Bridge Being Temporarily Dismantled to Accommodate Jeff Bezos' Yacht

Once completed, the 417-foot-long ship will reportedly be the largest sailing yacht in the world

In order to make room for Jeff Bezos ' new yacht, some temporary changes will need to be made to a historic bridge in the Netherlands.

The city of Rotterdam — a major port city — has agreed to temporarily dismantle part of the Koningshaven Bridge in order to accommodate the yacht, a city spokeswoman told the Washington Post . (Bezos purchased the Post in 2013, but newspaper staff has said they have editorial independence .)

Once completed, the 417-foot-long yacht — which is currently being built in the nearby city of Alblasserdam — will be the largest sailing yacht in the world, per Boat International . The ship is expected to be finished sometime this summer.

Bloomberg previously reported that the ship will likely cost more than $500 million.

As is, the yacht is too tall to pass through the bridge, which has a clearance of just over 13 feet, per the Post .

The 58-year-old billionaire and the company building the yacht will reportedly cover the cost, according to the Dutch broadcaster Rijnmond .

A rep for Bezos did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

A Rotterdam spokesperson, who confirmed to the Post that the city will not be paying for the middle section of the bridge to be dismantled and then reassembled, was not able to provide an estimate of how much the project will cost.

"A lot of details need to be worked out," Frances van Heijst told the newspaper.

Originally built in 1927, the bridge was declared a national monument after being decommissioned in 1994, per the Post .

Following a major restoration, city officials said in 2017 the bridge would be kept intact moving forward, Rijnmond reported.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE 's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

While the decision has caused some controversy, city officials said that they decided to agree to it for economic reasons.

"From an economic perspective, we attach great importance to preserving employment," van Heijst told the Post .

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Watch CBS News

Mayor denies Dutch city will dismantle historic bridge for Jeff Bezos' yacht

By Megan Cerullo

February 4, 2022 / 2:05 PM EST / MoneyWatch

A Dutch city has not agreed to temporarily disassemble a bridge built in 1927 to make room for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos ' mega-yacht, CBS MoneyWatch has learned.

A spokesperson for the mayor — and the city — on Friday told CBS MoneyWatch that Dutch press reports that Rotterdam would disassemble an historic bridge to make room for Bezos' boat were false, and that it has not received, or approved any such request. 

If Bezos or custom yacht-builder Oceanco asks for an accommodation, the city will consider it.

"The company that built the ship didn't yet ask for a permit so there is not an issue at this moment. When they ask for the permit, then we have to make a decision if we allow it or not, and how, and things like that," the spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch.

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb also denied earlier press reports, telling Dutch paper Algemeen Dagblad that "No decision has been made yet," noting that neither Bezos nor his yacht's maker have applied for a permit to take down part of the bridge. 

The Amazon founder's $500 million boat, built by Netherlands-based Oceanco and scheduled to be completed soon, measures 417 feet long and must pass through Rotterdam, under its landmark bridge, to reach its owner, NL Times reported . The problem? The Koninginnebrug bridge, a steel bridge nicknamed De Hef, isn't tall enough to accommodate the ship's three masts, which exceed the 130 feet of clearance the bridge offers.   

NETHERLANDS-TOURISM-FEATURE

Dutch press reports said that the city would remove the central section of the bridge to make way for the yacht, the largest ever built in the Netherlands. 

At this point in time, city officials in Rotterdam, who have been in contact with Oceanco regarding the construction of the superyacht, only know that "there is a big ship that has to go through the ocean some day," a spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch, adding that they anticipate receiving a request to make room for the boat to pass under the bridge. 

The spokesperson noted that the city has in the past had to deconstruct parts of the bridge to accommodate large vessels. 

"This is not the first time we have to do something about this bridge so that a big ship can go through. Once every few years a big ship has to go through to the other side," the spokesperson said. "So it's not unusual, in a way."

Rotterdam officials were said to have yielded to the billionaire, the world's  second-richest person , given the significance of the project to the local economy. Rotterdam council project leader Marcel Walravens called the construction of the superyacht "a very important project" economically, according to local broadcaster Rijnmond . Dismantling the bridge was the "only alternative," he said. 

Oceanco had agreed to pay for the cost of dismantling operation, Rotterdam spokesperson Frances Van Heijst told the NL Times. It's unclear if Bezos, who is worth roughly $176 billion , would pay for any of the disassembly cost.

The shipbuilder did not respond to a request for comment from CBS MoneyWatch. 

Aboutaleb, the mayor, said the controversial undertaking remains under consideration, but that Bezos still lacks the official approval to move forward. He also said Bezos' wealth and status will not influence his decision. 

"That has absolutely nothing do with this decision. It's about the facts. I want to know them first," Aboutaleb told the Dutch language newspaper.

"It's not an issue of what is going through the bridge," the city spokesperson reiterated. "It's not like if it's a ship for Mr. Bezos all of a sudden the rules are changing. But if there is a call for a permit, we will make a decision based on facts and not emotions. But we are not at that stage at this moment," the spokesperson said.

Some locals oppose altering the bridge on behalf of one of the richest people on the planet. Protesters have organized an event on Facebook at which they vowed to gather to throw eggs at Bezos' yacht when it passes under the bridge, scheduled for June. 

"Rotterdam was built from the rubble by the people of Rotterdam, and we don't just take that apart for the phallic symbol of a megalomaniac billionaire. Not without a fight!!" event organizers wrote on Facebook. 

  • Netherlands

Megan Cerullo is a New York-based reporter for CBS MoneyWatch covering small business, workplace, health care, consumer spending and personal finance topics. She regularly appears on CBS News 24/7 to discuss her reporting.

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jeff bezos yacht bridge removal cost

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An inside look at jeff bezos’ $500 million superyacht and what it costs to keep it afloat.

Cliché but true, the second-richest man on the planet, according to Forbes , owns the tallest sailing yacht in the world . In fact, the 417-foot Koru is so big, it has its own 250-foot support vessel .

Priced at $500 million, the Koru hit the sea for the first time in 2023 and has since ferried Jeff Bezos and company around the globe. Complete with three massive 229-foot masts, it can reach a top speed under sail of 20 knots, according to the New York Post — which is approximately 23 miles per hour.

Made for a group, up to 18 guests can set sail on the yacht, allowing Bezos to bring family and friends on vacation with him. Here’s a look at the Koru’s extravagant features and how much it costs to operate his floating mansion.

Also take a look at Bezos’ mansion collection.

See More: Robert Kiyosaki: 7 Ways To Become Wealthy Beyond the 9-to-5

Read Next: 4 Genius Things All Wealthy People Do With Their Money

Wealthy people know the best money secrets. Learn how to copy them .

Key Features

As expected Bezos’ yacht is dripping with luxury. With a net worth of $203.8 billion — as of May 4, 2024, according to Forbes — he can afford to outfit the Koru with nothing but the best and he did just that.

The superyacht has three outdoor decks, with two containing swimming pools, according to the New York Post. It also features a cinema, several lounges and multiple business areas, according to Luxuo .

Highly personalized, the yacht is complete with a figurehead modeled after Bezos’ fiancée Lauren Sanchez. Even its masts are luxurious, as the Amazon founder chose in-boom furlers, which keep the canvases at the bottom of the mast above the deck, creating a pristine and spacious rope-free deck.

For You: Make Yourself Money Smart: 20 ChatGPT Prompts To Increase Your Wealth

Support Vessel

One of the most shocking features of the Koru is the fact that it requires its own support vessel. The $75 million Abeona features a helipad that Sanchez has been spotted using to park her personal helicopter, according to the New York Post.

Designed to carry extra gear, four jet skis, two fast launches and a dinghy were spotted on the Abeona during a 2023 trip to Mallorca, Spain, according to the New York Post. It’s also capable of lifting a small submarine, but Bezos isn’t believed to own one — at least not yet.

Additionally, the support ship has two extra staterooms, which can accommodate four guests. This could come in handy if Bezos wants to entertain a larger group than can fit on the Koru.

On-Board Crew

It probably isn’t a surprise that operating both the Koru and the Abeona is no small task. From staff to drive the boats and maintain them to caring for guests onboard, Bezos needs a small army at sea.

The Koru has a crew of up to 36 people, according to The New York Post. If you think that’s a lot, the Abeona requires up to 45 crew and support staff.

Annual Operating Costs

Purchasing the Koru and Abeona cost Bezos more than half a billion dollars, but his expenses didn’t end there. As you might imagine, the annual cost to maintain a superyacht and its own enormous supporting yacht is more than most people earn in a lifetime.

The Koru costs approximately $25 million in operating expenses per year, according to the Daily Mail . Much less, but still sky-high, Bezos spends around $5 to $10 million on annual maintenance costs for the Abeona, according to Super Yacht Fan ).

When their owners are on dry land, yachts have to find a parking space. However, even this doesn’t always come cheap for Bezos and the Koru.

In November 2023, the billionaire’s yacht arrived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but was too big to fit in the port with all the outer superyachts, according to the Daily Mail. Therefore, it had to be docked with cruise ships at Port Everglades, at a rate of $16,500 per week.

While one week of storage might be more than the average person can afford, picking up the tab for any number of weeks would clearly be no issue for Bezos. While his superyacht and the many expenses surrounding it are clearly astronomical, he’s still living well within his budget.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com : An Inside Look at Jeff Bezos’ $500 Million Superyacht and What It Costs To Keep It Afloat

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IMAGES

  1. Rotterdam will dismantle a historic bridge for Jeff Bezos' yacht

    jeff bezos yacht bridge removal cost

  2. Pier pressure? Dutch city to dismantle historic bridge to accommodate Jeff Bezos’ new yacht

    jeff bezos yacht bridge removal cost

  3. Pier pressure? Dutch city to dismantle historic bridge to accommodate Jeff Bezos’ new yacht

    jeff bezos yacht bridge removal cost

  4. Jeff Bezos’ New Yacht Stuck as Oceanco Rules Out Dismantling Iconic Bridge

    jeff bezos yacht bridge removal cost

  5. Good on Jeff Bezos for dismantling a historic bridge for his monster yacht

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  6. Pier pressure? Dutch city to dismantle historic bridge to accommodate Jeff Bezos’ new yacht

    jeff bezos yacht bridge removal cost

VIDEO

  1. Is Jeff Bezos Motivated by His Yacht?

  2. Яхта Jeff Bezos, Koru 127м #yacht #jeffbezos #amazon #yachtcoru

  3. Baltimore Bridge Removal Live

  4. Baltimore Bridge Removal Live

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    It is a "must-remove" for Bezos, however. His vessel—estimated to cost about $500 million to build—includes three 229-foot masts, too tall to sail under the bridge, which has the height of ...

  3. Jeff Bezos gets a historic Dutch bridge dismantled so his ...

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    Historic Dutch Bridge Being Temporarily Dismantled to Accommodate Jeff Bezos' Yacht Once completed, the 417-foot-long ship will reportedly be the largest sailing yacht in the world By

  20. Mayor denies Dutch city will dismantle historic bridge for Jeff Bezos

    A Dutch city has not agreed to temporarily disassemble a bridge built in 1927 to make room for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos ' mega-yacht, CBS MoneyWatch has learned.

  21. An Inside Look at Jeff Bezos' $500 Million Superyacht and What It Costs

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  22. Rotterdam bridge to be dismantled so Jeff Bezos' yacht can ...

    More replies. fotogneric. •. "The Koningshavenbrug, known to Rotterdammers as De Hef, was renovated in 2017 and the council pledged at the time it would never be dismantled again. But that promise is now set to be broken, Rijnmond said, to let Bezos' yacht through. At 127 metres long, Bezos' yacht is set to be the largest sailing yacht in ...