GALLUP, N.M. — The unearthing of a thick layer of coal at the site of Gallup’s soon-to-be skate park has put a hold on construction.

The Gallup Independent reports ( ) officials had no idea there was coal and other materials buried when they started construction on the skate park last summer.

Public Works Director Stan Henderson says the coal and other materials found are from “way back yonder” when coal used to be loaded and unloaded in the area.

Creosote, a carcinogen and tar-like substance used to seal wood in railroad ties, and diesel were also found at the site.

Henderson says the cost to remove the hazardous material could be more than $100,000.

He says the goal is still to have the park completed by Labor Day.

Information from: Gallup Independent,

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