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Jamarat’s Moving Walks

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ThyssenKrupp Elevator delivers reliable transportation in Mina, Saudi Arabia, despite a tight schedule.

Jamarat is a pedestrian bridge in Mina, Saudi Arabia. Built in 1963 and expanded several times, it serves as one of the key sites along the route of the Hajj, an Islamic pilgrimage that takes place once a year. This year, the dates for the Hajj fall on September 20-25. In 2006, the old bridge was demolished and replaced with a new one that has several levels. Muslims throw seven stones at three pillars in the bridge during the symbolic “Stoning of the Devil” ceremony.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator installed 46 moving walks in Jamarat’s four pedestrian tunnels, which were designed to accommodate hundreds of thousands of pilgrims. Together, the 30 40-m- and 16 50-m-long moving walks cover a distance of 2 km.

The project execution itself was an uphill battle. Even though installation began in July 2013, the moving-walk tunnels had to be open to the public in time for the Hajj in October of the same year. What is more, installation occurred during the month of Ramadan — Islam’s holy month of fasting — so nearly 80% of the work took place at night.

The installation team also faced difficult site conditions. This involved shifting the moving-walk segments from the storage area approximately 15 km away from the installation site. The team had to wait for the main contractor, Saudi Bin Laden Group, to finish the surrounding civil works, which were delayed due to the finalization of the tunnel excavation. This, in turn, meant ThyssenKrupp Elevator had a reduced installation period, all the while receiving continuous pressure from the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs to have the equipment installed and ready for the Hajj.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Egypt assisted ThyssenKrupp Elevator Saudi with the installation, because only Muslim technicians could enter Makkah. The 46 moving walks were tested and commissioned just two weeks before the Hajj. During the 10-day Hajj, more than five million pilgrims used the moving walks that ran 24 hr. a day without technical failure. ThyssenKrupp Elevator received a thank-you note from the consultant, Dar Al Handasah, for the high quality of services provided.

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