(Courtesy of the District Department of Transportation)

A stretch of the eastbound Southeast Freeway is closed for at least a year and a half, and drivers heading home on Friday may encounter some slowness as they adjust to the change.

The D.C. Department of Transportation closed the eastbound Southeast Freeway between Eighth Street SE and Pennsylvania Avenue SE after the Thursday evening commute. This closure, which is related to the 11th Street Bridge project, will be in place for the next 18 to 20 months. (The westbound lanes were closed late last year.)

Many drivers will experience this for the first time during the commute home on Friday. Monica Hernandez, a DDOT spokeswoman, said the agency put signs in place to warn commuters in advance.

“You may see vehicles driving a little slower” during the Friday commute, Hernandez said. People may be more cautious as they adjust to the different traffic pattern on Friday night and perhaps also on Monday night, she said. After that, drivers “will start to adjust and become comfortable,” Hernandez said.

There weren’t any real problems stemming from the closure of the westbound lanes, she said.

As Dr. Gridlock noted earlier, eastbound freeway traffic heading toward I-295/DC 295 or Pennsylvania Avenue SE should continue across the 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia River.

Read more about the ramp closures here.