Bezos' Yacht Stuck as Company Rules out Dismantling Iconic Bridge—Report

An historic bridge in the Netherlands will reportedly no longer be dismantled to allow Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' new superyacht to pass through.

Back in February, it was reported that Koningshavenbrug, a now-decommissioned lift bridge known locally as De Hef, would be taken apart temporarily so the billionaire's new 417-foot yacht Y721, which is being built by Dutch firm Oceanco, could reach the ocean.

At present, the three-mast ship, set to be the second largest superyacht in the world and valued at nearly $500 million, cannot fit under the bridge without removing the middle section.

The plans sparked public outcry with De Hef viewed by many as one of Rotterdam's leading landmarks and a popular destination for sightseeing tourists.

Now, according to Dutch news outlet Trouw, which filed a freedom of information request, the proposal has been shelved. It reports, as quoted by the NL Times, that Oceanco has "informed the municipality that it is canceling its current logistical plans."

Trouw reported that the decision was a direct result of a public outcry that blew up when the plans were first proposed. "Shipyard employees feel threatened and the company fears it will be vandalized," Trouw said, according to DutchNews.nl.

Local groups had previously voiced their opposition to the move. In February, Ton Wesselink from local history society Historisch Genootschap Roterodamum told Rijnmond: "Jobs are important, but there are limits with what you can and should do with our industrial heritage."

There was similar anger online with a petition calling for a halt to the plans amassing thousands of signatures. The petition noted that De Hef was only renovated in 2017, at which time "the municipality of Rotterdam promised that the bridge would never be dismantled again." Yet, it noted that that promise seemed "bound to be broken."

While Bezos had pledged to cover the costs incurred in dismantling and rebuilding the bridge, the petition organizer felt the plans still sent a message that "as long as you are rich enough, there are no restrictions whatsoever."

"Monuments can be modified and rules—that apply to everyone—lifted," they noted, going on to contrast "the eagerness with which Bezos' request is being indulged" to his "rigidness and refusal in providing basic human rights to his warehouse workers."

Thousands more signed up to a planned protest that would have seen the superyacht pelted with rotten eggs as it traveled through the city.

"Calling all Rotterdammers," wrote event organizer Pablo Strörmann on Facebook, "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."

It is not yet clear how Bezos or Oceanco intend to proceed with the delivery of the super yacht.

Newsweek has contacted Amazon, Oceanco and Strörmann for comment.

jeff bezos yacht
The company designing the Amazon founder's superyacht have reportedly backed down from plans to deconstruct a bridge in the Netherlands so the vessel could get out to sea.