It wasn't congestion, crashes or road construction that slowed down motorists in the Lowry Hill Tunnel during Friday's morning commute.

Blame the brake lights on a family of ducks who strolled along the eastbound lanes around 8:30 a.m.

The mother and seven to eight little ducklings were "orderly and law-abiding" as they waddled along in the direction of traffic, said Brian Kary, director of Traffic Operations for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.  "They managed to keep on the shoulder."

Polite motorists gave them some space to get by.

MnDOT didn't attempt to rescue the ducklings who "seemed to be doing fine by themselves," Kary said. MnDOT personnel watch intently as the ducks made their way from the west end of the tunnel to the east exit where they got off the freeway by clambering up a concrete wall near Lyndale Avenue, all unscathed, he said.

It's unusual to see ducks traveling in the tunnel, but MnDOT said it has seen geese and other animals make their way through the tube.

Photos: Minnesota Department of Transportation

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