MINA: Jamarat Bridge is a pedestrian bridge in Mina, Makkah. It is used by pilgrims during the Hajj pilgrimage for two or three days.
The bridge enables pilgrims to perform the Hajj ritual “Stoning of the Devil,” which takes place from the 10th day until before the sunset of the 13th day of the month Dhu Al-Hajjah.
The “Stoning of the Devil” is a ritual where pilgrims throw stones at the three Jamrah pillars, either from the ground level or from the bridge. Jamrah is the singular of Jamarat, the Arabic term for small pieces of stones or pebbles.
Construction of the bridge started in early 2000, with the ground level and one bridge levelthat had three openings that led to the pillars. However, the limited space resulted in fatal accidents, with more than 1 million people gathering in the area of the bridge in total each year.
In 2006, the bridge was demolished and construction expanded to build a new four-story bridge, which temporarily stopped after the ground and first levels were completed. Construction on the remaining two levels has been completed since December 2007.
The new bridge was designed by Dar Al-Handasah and constructed by the Saudi Binladin Group. It contains a wider column-free interior space, longer Jamrah pillars, additional ramps and tunnels for easier access, large canopies to cover each of the three pillars to protect pilgrims from the desert sun, and ramps adjacent to the pillars to speed up evacuation in the event of an emergency.
The efficiency of the bridge had improved, and the structure can now handle 500,000 to 600,000 people per hour instead of the previous 200,000.