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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

New Design For Jamarat Bridge In Mina, Saudi Arabia (Link)


Jamarat Bridge New Design

A few days after the annual hajj ended on a tragic note, Saudi authorities swang into action pulling down the Jamarat Bridge as part of a wider revamp project to stave off deadly stampedes in the future.

"The first stage of the projected overhaul of Jamarat bridge in Mina began on Saturday and will be completed and ready for next year's hajj," Reuters reported on Sunday, January 15, quoting Osama Al-Bar, who heads a government center helping organize hajj.

Saudi authorities had already said the Jamarat Bridge would be replaced with an elaborate system of entrances and exits, including a subway, which will cost 4.2 billion riyals ($1.12 billion).

The first stage of the three-year project, which will be ready for the next hajj, involves a two-storey bridge and an underground emergency exit for pilgrims and ambulances.

More than 5,000 workers will be involved and a large factory has already been set up near Jeddah to manufacture concrete blocks for the project. The new bridge will have four floors with 12 entrances and 12 exits. The Jamarat Bridge will be widened by 20 meters to allow the devil-stoning for 250,000 Muslims pilgrims per hour, Al-Bar said.

"The new Jamarat bridge will be equipped with a system allowing automated system to remove stones from the basins," he told the London-based Saudi-owned daily Asharq Alawsat.

"It will also include an automated cleaning system as well as an advanced emergency system."

You can also view some more pictures of the new design:
Jamarat 1 - Jamarat 2 - Jamarat 3 - Jamarat 4 - Jamarat 5

Read Also:
Riyadh Pulls Down Jamarat Bridge, Begins Revamp Project (IslamOnline.net)
Why Mecca's Pilgrims Need Engineering, Not Just Prayer (The New York Times)
Jamarat ramp being demolished to build new one (Khaleej Times)

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