Jeff Bezos' $485 million superyacht needs a WWII bridge dismantled to pass through

There is little that Bezos' money can't buy.
Ameya Paleja
The lift bridge in Rotterdam.Manninx/iStock

The historic steel bridge over Koningshaven in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam will be dismantled partially so that a superyacht that's built for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos can pass, The Guardian reported.

We strive to bring you stories of how the greatest things are built in this world of ours, but at times, even relics of World War II can be brought down to submit to the whims of rich people. We could only have hoped that we are engaging in hyperbole here when we said this. But unfortunately, it is true.

The Koningshaven bridge was originally built as a swing bridge but the narrowed passage between the arms led to many collisions between 1877 and 1927, according to a popular webpage about the city. So, a decision was made to change it to a lift bridge that rose up to a height of 147 feet (45 m), where it also got its De Hef name tag. However, in World War II, the bridge suffered many damages and had to be repaired to function again.

Until 1993, even trains passed over this bridge that was restored once more between 2014 and 2017, and the city council had then vowed to never dismantle the bridge, a popular monument, The Guardian reported. Until Bezos placed an order for a $485 million (€430 million) yacht to a Rotterdam-based shipyard. 

With three masts, the Y721 superyacht is expected to be the largest sailing yacht in the world but the height of its mast has become an issue. When complete, the yacht's tallest point will be 152 feet (47.4 m), well above the height De Hef can rise to, and instead of changing the design of the yacht, Bezos has convinced the city council to dismantle the monumental bridge instead. 

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The process that will take a few weeks is expected to happen later over summer this year, The Guardian reported. City authorities, who had earlier vowed not to dismantle the bridge, are now counting the benefits the yacht order has brought to the city in terms of jobs while also clarifying that Mr. Bezos will be footing the bill for the dismantling and reassembly of the bridge, once the Y721 has passed through the only route available to it to meet the sea. 

There you have it. When you are one of the richest people in the world, not only can you order the largest yacht in the world but also earn the right of passage through a World War II relic, if that stands in the way of your summer holidays at the sea. 

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