NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) — Construction of a North Carolina bridge that will link isolated Hatteras Island to the mainland is attracting sightseers even though it's not quite halfway finished.

Island resident and Dare County commissioner Danny Couch tells The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Virginia, that people enjoy crossing the old Bonner Bridge, stopping on the sandy roadside and taking photos of the new structure.

The $250 million span across the Oregon Inlet along North Carolina's Outer Banks will be nearly 3 miles long. It is scheduled to open in late 2018.

Engineers ran the design through more than 100,000 computer simulations of the 45 worst storms to strike the Outer Banks in the past 160 years. They even accounted for a big barge slamming into its supports as happened to the current bridge in 1990.