De Hef is being dismantled for mega yacht of the richest man in the world
When the iconic Koningshaven Bridge, better known to Rotterdammers as ‘De Hef‘, was put back together in 2017 after a large-scale renovation, the municipality of Rotterdam promised that the structure would never be dismantled again. The municipality now seems to be returning to that promise. Shipbuilder Oceanco wants the center piece removed to allow the gigantic yacht of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to sail through it.
The bridge, characterized by its green color and steel construction, is a symbol of the industrial past of the city. From 1927 it served as a swing bridge, but after several traffic jams and collisions it was decided to replace the bridge with a lifting bridge.
The design by engineer Pieter Joosting (1867-1942) played a central role in the city’s history. It was this bridge from which Lou Vlasblom made his world-famous record-breaking dive in 1933. It was also this bridge from which Jan Tabbernee jumped to his death two weeks later, in a fruitless attempt to match Vlasblom.
In 1993 the bridge lost its function as a river crossing for train traffic between Breda and Rotterdam, due to the arrival of the Willemsspoortunnel. A plan to demolish De Hef encountered so much resistance from Rotterdammers that it was abandoned. Since then, the bridge has been a national monument.