A state-hired grass cutter that got stuck in the median of Interstate 295 caused a major traffic tie-up on the highway.

The large tractor-pulled mower got stuck just north of mile 10, near the Falmouth-Cumberland line, at about 9:30 a.m. Workers summoned a tow truck to remove it, which took some time, authorities said.

The resulting congestion backed up northbound traffic, swollen with tourists coming into the state on a Friday afternoon. The delays backed up traffic into Portland, witnesses said.

After the mower was cleared, traffic was still slow-moving which may have contributed to two subsequent crashes on the interstate, which delayed traffic even longer.

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