ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — A giant, $500 million yacht reportedly being built for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos faces a delivery problem: It may require dismantling a beloved, historic bridge in Rotterdam that is blocking its passage to the sea.
Reports this week that the Dutch city had already agreed to take apart the recently renovated Koningshaven Bridge, known locally as De Hef, sparked anger. On Facebook, locals are proposing to pelt the yacht with rotten eggs when it passes through.
However, a spokeswoman for Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told The Associated Press on Friday that while a shipbuilder has requested temporarily taking apart the bridge this summer, no permit has yet been sought or granted.
Many Rotterdam residents are still concerned.
“I think it’s easy to understand why it’s so controversial because this is a very beautiful, recently restored old bridge,” said Lizette Touber. “It really is our heritage. And I think that if the rich can pay for it to be opened, which normally nobody else could do, then you get controversy.”
In a written statement, Aboutaleb, who is on a visit to Colombia, said that once a request for a permit is submitted it will be assessed based on factors including economic impact, environmental nuisance and possible risks to the “monumental structure” of the bridge.