Kicking off the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) showcase event last week, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood called for a “big bold vision” for infrastructure and transportation.

“I believe that the time has come for America to say we need to be number one again, we need to fix up our bridges that our falling down, we need to fix up our roadways, and we need to raise the gas tax 10 cents per gallon," said LaHood.

Pointing out that the gas tax hasn’t been raised since 1993, when half of the increase went to deficit reduction, LaHood also called for indexing the tax to inflation. “If they had indexed the gas tax  to inflation, we wouldn’t be having this debate today about how we are going to pay for all the things we need."

LaHood made his remarks in his keynote address, “The Future of Transportation and Infrastructure,” on  Thursday, September 26, session of the CSHub Showcase. The showcase opened open Wednesday, September 25, with a reception and poster session.

The theme of the 2013 showcase was “Building for LIFE: Life-cycle thinking, Innovation, Fiscal responsibility, and Environmental leadership.” More than 120 representatives of the cement and concrete industries attended the event.

Following LaHood’s address, Hub researchers presented overviews of Hub research in two areas:

> Concrete science research, which seeks new processes and applications that improve performance and reduce environmental impact

> Life-cycle analysis to assess both the economic and environmental impact of a project throughout its useful life

The afternoon was devoted to interactive workshops on implementing Hub findings to date. More information on the CS Hub is available by clicking here.