A crush of holiday traffic exiting Maine caused delays Monday, and at least one accident closed a southbound lane on the Maine Turnpike.

An accident in the southbound lanes of the turnpike between the Wells and York exits closed the left lane to traffic around noon, according to an alert from the Maine Turnpike Authority. Motorists were advised to expect delays and use caution passing the crash site at mile 16.5.

The authority also advised that heavy southbound traffic at exit 103 in West Gardiner was causing delays and that drivers should use caution.

By 1 p.m., heavy, slow-moving traffic was reported from Kennebunk all the way to the New Hampshire line. Shortly after 3 p.m., southbound traffic on the turnpike was backed up about 5 miles behind the toll plaza in York. A plaza attendant said the traffic was mostly cleared up by 5:30 p.m.

Turnpike officials predicted traffic this weekend could set a record. Memorial Day is often thought of as the unofficial start to the summer tourism season in Maine.


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