August 29, 2017 - Between Aug. 30 and Sept. 5, an estimated 3 million Muslims will complete their holy pilgrimage to Mecca as part of Hajj week, the largest annual gathering of people on Earth. With as many as 300,000 people expected to cross Jamarat Bridge every hour, leading engineers and technicians need to facilitate the safe movement of pilgrims at the site by implementing structural and technological updates while, at the same time, preserving the Bridge’s cultural and religious importance to visitors.
Along their journey, pilgrims will cross Jamarat Bridge multiple times in order to complete the ritual “Stoning of the Devil,” which is a key component of the pilgrimage. To ensure that crowds can move across the bridge safely, the Makkah Development Authority (MDA), which maintains the religious site, engaged Otis, the world’s leading manufacturer of people-moving products, to find a solution to crowd safety challenges at the structure.
The project saw the installation of a total of 338 people-moving solutions including a total of 308 escalators. The bridge is also equipped with six passenger elevators, two ambulance elevators and two helipad elevators. Each escalator can be used to transport pilgrims up or down in the structure depending on the flow of the crowd and guidance from the security force on the ground. A team of approximately 200 highly skilled Otis technicians work around-the-clock monitoring and servicing the escalators and elevators.
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