The historic Koningshaven Bridge in Rotterdam will not be dismantled for Jeff Bezos’ superyacht to pass through as previously suggested.
Back in February, a Rotterdam City official talked about plans to partially dismantle the bridge – locally known as De Hef – in order to allow Bezos’ superyacht, currently being built in nearby town Alblasserdam, to pass through once its construction is complete.
Even though the mayor of the city Ahmed Aboutaleb denied that final decisions were made, the sheer possibility of the dismantling of the iconic bridge caused significant public outcry.
The company building the yacht has now decided not to apply for a relevant permit amid public outcry.
The Koningshaven Bridge was initially constructed as a swing bridge in 1878. Following several ship collisions, a decision was made to keep the bridge decks and construct a lift bridge. The lift bridge opened in 1927 and was used as a river crossing for train traffic until 1993, when the traffic was diverted to the Willemspoor tunnel. It is 79m long, with the lift part able to move up 45m.
The partial dismantling was proposed because the trio of masts designed for the 127m-long superyacht, named Y721, will be too tall to pass safely under the lift bridge.
Bloomberg has reported that the shipbuilder Oceanco informed the Rotterdam City Council that it will not be requesting the Koningshaven Bridge’s dismantling, citing two council members as sources.
Oceanco has not made any statements on how it plans to get the Y721 out of the country.
In February NCE asked British engineers about the potential dismantling of the bridge. Even though they said dismantling was feasible, they commented on the high cost of such job and risk of damaging bridge parts.
At the time, Beckett Rankine director Tim Beckett said that the dismantling of the bridge could be avoided, if the yacht passes through the bridge without the masts and the masts are placed once it is on the other side of it.
Like what you've read? To receive New Civil Engineer's daily and weekly newsletters click here.