America's Largest Cross Coming to Texas
It would tower 210 feet over Corpus Christi
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2016 7:42 AM CST
An architectural rendition of the cross.   (Corpus Christi Cross Project)

(Newser) – The largest cross in the US is coming to the "Body of Christ," also known as Corpus Christi, Texas. The Corpus Christi Cross Project broke ground at the Abundant Life Fellowship campus off Interstate 37 on Sunday. Pastor Rick Milby says the massive cross will eventually stretch 95 feet wide and 210 feet high, making it the biggest in the Western Hemisphere, reports the Houston Chronicle. The idea for the project came to Milby after he first spotted a huge cross in Houston and heard about "lives that were changed, suicides that were aborted, relationships that were restored because of the influence of the cross," he writes on the project's website. A cross in Illinois stands just under 200 feet, notes Atlas Obscura, which adds that the FAA requires a light on anything above that height.

The Corpus Christi cross will be so big that the design allows for "a two-foot deflection at the top—it will actually sway in the wind two feet back and forth," Milby tells KRIS TV. And as for whether such winds can topple it, Milby says the concrete foundation's 24 piers will be anchored 48 feet deep, "so if it were to blow over, it would pull up about three acres of land with it." Once completed, the cross will be visible from 5 miles away by land and 10 miles by air; planes flying into Corpus Christi International Airport will descend about a half-mile to the east. The cross is expected to take about a year, and $1 million, to complete. It will still fall far short of the world's tallest cross—a 495-footer in Madrid. About $142,000 has been raised so far. (A city in Michigan turned its giant cross into something else.)
 

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