A contractor hired for $1.8 million to dredge lagoons between 15th and 34th streets was "unwilling and/or unable" to return to Ocean City this summer to finish a job it failed to complete by a Dec. 31, 2012 deadline, Dattilo said.
The contractor reportedly has concerns about the adequacy of the spoils site near 34th Street used for the project, according to Dattilo.
The city disputes that assessment and is in discussions with the contractor, Hydro-Marine Construction Inc. of Hainesport, to settle the contract. The city is "trying to avoid litigation," he said.
In the meantime, the company has removed more than half of the pipeline left along the project area and creating a hazard to boat traffic, Dattilo said. Work will continue until the pipeline is fully removed.
The same contractor was to be paid extra to dredge Snug Harbor (between Eighth and Ninth streets) this summer. Work continues to assess a spoils site near the new Ninth Street Bridge to be used for the Snug Harbor project.
If the issue is not resolved quickly, the city could work on a parallel track and rebid the projects, Dattilo said. But a permitting window closes on Sept. 30 (though the city last year was able to get extensions to allow work through Dec. 31).