Dec 302011

A huge outdoor escalator has been unveiled in one of the poorest districts of Colombia’s second largest city.

Until now residents of Medellin’s Comuna 13 district have had to climb hundreds of steps to get around the shantytown, which clings to the side of a steep hill. Journey times will be reduced from over half an hour to six minutes.

“It’s wonderful, it’s a dream come true, and I was one of the first to use it,” said one local woman delightedly.

The escalator, 384 metres long, cost the equivalent of just over 5 million euros and is one of several infrastructure projects in the city.

Medellin’s mayor Alonso Salazar said he hoped it would help to improve life in a district known for urban violence.

Officials from Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro are said to be interested in the scheme.


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