Demolition of suspended makeshift bridge around Kaaba begins

The temporary bridge was erected in August 2013 to reduce congestion in the Grand Mosque due to the implementation of the third phase of its expansion. (File photo: Reuters)

Work on demolition of the suspended mataf (makeshift bridge facilitating circumambulation of Holy Kaba) began on Sunday and the whole process is to be completed by May 27.

The temporary bridge was erected in August 2013 to reduce congestion in the Grand Mosque due to the implementation of the third phase of its expansion.

The demolition has begun on the western side of King Fahd Expansion Project as the area is ready to receive pilgrims and visitors.

Faisal Wafa, a staff member of Umm Al-Qura University, who is the chairman of the technical committee of the mataf, said the purpose behind the construction of the temporary bridge has been served. “It is time it should be demolished,” he said.

The demolition has begun on the western side of King Fahd Expansion Project as the area is ready to receive pilgrims and visitors. (Reuters)

The demolition has begun on the western side of King Fahd Expansion Project as the area is ready to receive pilgrims and visitors. (Reuters)

He said the contractor of the expansion project is carrying out the demolition process in collaboration with the security forces of the Grand Mosque, the Civil Defense and the technical committee to ensure the highest degree of safety for the pilgrims.

Wafa said trucks to remove the debris will enter the mataf area through Al-Shabakiyah area.

He said the the first floor of the mataf has been dedicated for pilgrims using hand-pushed wheelchairs while the mezzanine floor will be used by pilgrims on electric chairs.

Wafa said the entire third phase of the expansion project from Al-Shamiyah area, all mataf floors and the ceiling will be ready for use during Ramadan.

He said the new mataf area will allow about 107,000 pilgrims circumambulate the Kaba in an hour.

This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Apr. 04, 2016.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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