NORTH POLE, Alaska — The iconic Big Santa statue in North Pole made a few moves on Thursday.

The nearly 50-foot-tall statue has been overlooking the Richardson Highway next to Santa Claus House in North Pole since the 1980s. On Thursday, it was moved about 140 feet to make room for an expansion of the gift shop, as well as to relocate it away from the road for safety purposes.

The statue stands nearly 50 feet tall. It weighs about 900 pounds on its own, but is permanently attached to a concrete base that weighs an estimated 40,000 pounds. Originally built in 1968, the statue was displayed seasonally in Seattle until the mid-1970s. It was purchased by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and transported to Alaska for holiday displays until the early 1980s, when it was moved to its current location in North Pole.

The moving project was handled by Tilly and Co. along with Precision Cranes.