HOBOKEN - Engineers and professors in North Jersey are putting their heads together to figure out how to protect the walkway along the Hudson River waterfront from future storms.

The walkway extends from Bayonne Bridge to the George Washington Bridge, and took a hard hit from Superstorm Sandy. It was about 85 percent complete when it was hit first by Hurricane Irene.

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Advocates say it is a critical project that affects access to the waterfront and the recreational opportunities for urban areas along the Hudson and Bergen shorelines.

"We need to repair what's there," says Christopher Daggett, president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. "We need to close the gaps of access that are in the walkway and ultimately complete this project."

Advocates of the project say the focus must be on resiliency and recovery, as more and more storms are expected.