Construction on Route 18 in Middlesex County aims to alleviate the bottleneck at the New Jersey Turnpike entrance.

Route 18 northbound at Route 1 (NJ DOT)

The $28 million project will take two years to complete and will ultimately create an additional third lane on Route 18 North, replace two bridges carrying both lanes of Route 18 over U.S. Route 1, and reconfigure a ramp from Route 18 to U.S. 1 South.

Crews are expected to be out at night Aug. 15 and 16, closing lanes to set up a shift during the construction.

"That lane shift will be maintaining the normal complement of lanes; however, they'll be shifted through the fall," said Steve Schapiro, spokesman with the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Further closures for Route 18, both northbound and southbound, are expected next year as demolition and construction of the new bridges gets underway.

"We're using an accelerated bridge construction technique to replace the bridge superstructure more quickly and have less impact, but there are going to be some detours and lane closures," Schapiro said.

The often-bottlenecked spot is a nightmare for commuters, with entrances for the Turnpike and Route 1, as well as Rutgers University a few miles north.

"Traffic volume has been roughly 100,000 vehicles a day in that area," Schapiro said.

The project will coincide with one from the state Turnpike Authority, which will add expanded ramps, a new bridge over the Turnpike ramps, and realign parts of Route 18 away from Naricon Place, a residential neighborhood.