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A historic bridge in Rotterdam will be removed to make way for Jeff Bezos’ yacht

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The Dutch municipality of Rotterdam will dismantle its iconic De Hef bridge so that a sailing yacht acquired in the Netherlands by the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezoscan cross it, a controversial decision since the city council promised not to touch this national monument after its restoration in 2017.

As confirmed today to Efe Ton Wesselink, the president of the Historical Society of Rotterdam, the city council has already authorized the tasks to dismantle this bridge and, although “the risk of damage to the structure can be reduced to almost zero because the tasks will be done by professional people, the risk will always be there,” he acknowledged, and this is a historical monument.

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“We don’t have many historic buildings in Rotterdam. Many monuments were lost during the war, and we like this bridge very much. It has been restored a few years ago and it was promised not to touch it, so it is not understood that now, as if nothing happened and because a ship wants to pass through, we have to dismantle it. There will always be a risk that it will be harmed, ”he denounced.

Bezos, considered the richest man in the world, commissioned a Dutch company to build a giant yacht that will have three masts, so it will not be able to pass under the bridge, which led the company to ask the municipality to dismantle the structure. central and the costs will be borne by Bezos himself.

bridge with history

the bridge, built in 1878, it was badly damaged during the bombing in the forties, in the Second World War, and it was one of the first structures in the city to be restored after the war, but when in 1993 rail traffic stopped passing through this bridge, the city scrapped a plan to demolish it due to the strong resistance of the residents of Rotterdam.

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Marcel Walravens, municipal manager for matters related to De Hef, told the local newspaper “Rijnmond” that granted the shipbuilder’s request because “it concerns the passage of a ship with tall masts primarily” and he recalled that in other bridges “you can press a button and they open, but that is not possible with De Hef because it has a maximum height”.

According to him, it is not “practical” to only partially finish the ship in the area where it is being built in the municipality of Alblasserdam, in the west of the Netherlands, to move it through De Hef and then finish building it elsewhere. . The estimated value of the ship is 430 million euros and, with some 127 meters long, it will be the largest sailing yacht in the world.

Maritime capital of Europe

Walravens stressed that the economic interest of the region was considered to accept the request, since “from a financial and job maintenance perspective, this project is very important.”

remembered that “Rotterdam has been declared the maritime capital of Europe, and shipbuilding and activity within the sector are an important pillar.”

The plan is to restore the central part of the bridge after the yacht passes and qualified the municipality’s promise not to dismantle the structure again after a large-scale restoration in 2017: “Never say never, I see it as using the resources you have in the most efficient way possible.” (I)

Source: Eluniverso

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