Mihkel Mutt, writer and thinker, turned his prose to bitumen and earth-moving equipment this week, arguing in a column that the Tallinn-Tartu road should be turned into a modern four-lane divided highway no matter what the cost.
"It is evidently inevitable that we won't be able to sustain existing human habitation everywhere in Estonia with the resources that we have, but there is a limit below which we must not drop. If Tallinn and Tartu start falling into decline, that would mean moral capitulation. Estonia would break in two," he said in Postimees.
The road is currently being widened in piecemeal fashion, with segments of a few dozen kilometers tackled in projects a few years apart.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts took issue with Mutt's pessimism, saying that the government has chosen the current path intentionally. "Of course we'd like everything all at once, but I think that we would be building communism, which could end up being too much for the state to handle," he told Postimees.
And Dago Antov, a department head at Tallinn University of Technology, penned a rebuttal
for uudised.err.ee in which he said the new road must be functional above all. He argued that it would not be a tragedy if the new road was not a "monumental" work but even one with a shared passing lane, a solution which he said was currently favored in Sweden.