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October 25th, 2012
06:10 AM ET

EXCLUSIVE: Inside look at Statue of Liberty accessibility upgrades – Zoraida Sambolin reports

Lady Liberty has a new spring in her step.

The crown and interior of the iconic Statue of Liberty have been closed for a year for renovations that will make it wheelchair accessible for the first time. The year-long, $30 million renovation project includes a newly installed elevator to the statue’s observation deck, upgraded stairwells and several safety improvements.

These changes will allow an additional 26,000 visitors each year a chance to enjoy her spectacular views, including wounded veterans and others with disabilities.

CNN’s Zoraida Sambolin visited the site with two wounded warriors in an "Early Start" exclusive, and were among the first visitors to take advantage of the new and improved Lady Liberty. She joined Kirk Bauer, who lost his leg in Vietnam, and Jesse Acosta, whose suffered injuries to his hip from a roadside bomb in Iraq, on the 146-step climb to the top.

Filed under: Statue of Liberty
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. mj

    when will the upgrade include a sign that says, "turn back if you want freedom. we're no longer the land of the free."

    October 25, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  2. Uche okani

    This is great and commendable,its monumental.

    October 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  3. Luis Perez

    Hi Z Luis from Chi-Town. We sure miss you here. You look great. It looks like you lost some weight. What, the food in NY not as good as Chicago? Great piece on Lady Liberty. Email me sometime and let me know how things are going.

    October 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  4. david

    very heart warming
    brought tears to my eyes

    October 25, 2012 at 7:11 am | Reply

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