LONG BEACH ISLAND, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A stalled restoration project is raising concerns from officials about the damage potential storms could have on Long Beach Island without the proper dunes to protect the beaches.

As WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported, the Army Corps of Engineers said contractor Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company needs its equipment for other projects, but will be back in April to finish by the May deadline.

“Yea, we’re not buying into that because there is work to be done here,” said Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna.

Hajna said the deal for the stalled work on Long Beach Island is between the contractor and the Army Corps of Engineers.

“We don’t have a contractual hammer that we can use but we’re using the political hammer,” said Hajna.

Now, federal, state and local lawmakers are criticizing the move.

“And we feel that it just shows a disregard for the importance of protecting property,” Hajna said.

The $128 million project aims to restore 13 miles of beaches and dunes on Long Beach Island.

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