|People use outdoor escalators, newly installed at Comuna 13 shantytown as part of an urbanization plan to improve living conditions of residents, in Medellin, Colombia, Dec. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)|
Colombian city gets giant, outdoor escalator
BOGOTA, Colombia—Officials in Colombia's second-largest city have inaugurated a giant, outdoor escalator for residents of one of its poorest neighborhoods.
For generations, the 12,000 residents of Medellin's tough Comuna 13, which clings to the side of a steep hillside, have had to climb hundreds of large steps authorities say is the same as going up a 28-story building.
Now they can ride an escalator Medellin's mayor says is the first massive, outdoor public escalator for use by residents of a poor area.
Cesar Hernandez, head of projects for Medellin, said the electric stairway is divided into six sections and has a length of 384 meters. An escalator goes up and a second goes down. Authorities plan to build a covering for inclement whether.