Ron Burns, the first project manager on the Humber Bridge, died peacefully at home on 18 October.
A contractors man throughout his career he was said to have feared nobody while maintaining his principles and work ethic. In his early career he worked for many of the UK’s major contractors of the day and was involved in the three major suspension bridges built in the last fifty years, Port Rashid Dubai and the first Hong Kong tunnel. For over 20 years Burns had worked for CCC based in Athens.
He was probably unique in having gained his HNC in Sscotland he worked for nearly all the major contractors of the 1960s and 1970s including Cementation, John Howard (as first project manager on Humber Bridge), Costain (as senior engineeer responsible for all methods on quay construction on Port Rashid, Dubai and chief engineer on the first Hong Kong Tunnel), Laing in Saudi Arabia, and Taylor Woodrow in Ghana, before joining CCC in Athens where he was the eyes and ears of the owners on any problem projects throughout the group.
Port Rashid, Dubai in Aug 69 shortly before Ron left for the Hong Kong Tunnel. The man on the left is Dave Chetwin (F) (bald head) (at the time Costain no2 later to be Project Director for the Costain Taylor Woodrow JV Dubai Dry Dock until 1979 - died 1911) - Ron Burns on the right. Behind is the Menck piling frame which performed from 1969 to 1979 - a big investment at the time - c£35,000. In between the two guys the Manitowac 4600 ($150,000 new in 1968) can be seen placing rock on the original main breakwater.