Waukesha-based Safway Inc. has provided scaffolding
for many governmental projects, including Milwaukee
WAUKESHA — For most Waukesha County residents, the name
“Safway Inc.” simply doesn’t ring a bell. But, while
locals may not have heard of the corporation, they are
sure to recognize more than a few of the places it has
Safway Inc. is a major force behind the scenes.
Admittedly tight-lipped (often due to the nature of its
government contracts), the company provides its services
to concert venues, movie sets and major sporting events,
such as the Super Bowl.
know for sure people don’t even know the company,” said
Karla Cuculi, vice president of communications and
branding. “But we’ve actually had pretty phenomenal
Headquartered in Waukesha, the $1.4 billion private
corporation is the largest scaffold and access company
in North America. It employs nearly 10,000 people across
110 locations, including about 200 people locally
between its headquarters and its West Allis branch.
addition to scaffolding, the company provides insulation
and fireproofing, and surface preparation services to
places such as small businesses, all the way up to
iconic national landmarks, including Madison Square
Garden, Wrigley Field and the Golden State Bridge. It
continues to have a niche in historical renovations.
Currently, the company has ongoing projects both at the
Wisconsin State Capitol, as well as the U.S. Capitol
the State Capitol, Safeway has installed nearly 40,000
pounds of scaffolding to aid the Capitol’s restoration
efforts — a project that had to be brought in with a
240-ton crane and which took more than two weeks to
with many historical renovations, the project presented
its challenges. For example, the scaffolding had to be
built on an angle to avoid placing weight onto the
capitol’s exterior dome, said Branwyn Rhodes, Safway
content development manager.
The U.S. Capitol dome is seen
under repair on Capitol Hill in Washington.
company’s footprint in historical renovations was
featured earlier this year when the National Building
Museum presented an exhibit that highlighted its work at
the Washington Monument and the Washington National
exhibition “Scaling Washington” showed photographs taken
by Colin Winterbottom following post-earthquake repairs.
A description included in the exhibit pointed to the
artistic nature of scaffolding, taking it “from an
industrial eyesore into a geometrically complex set of
rhythms that accentuate the architecture.”
Surely, art wasn’t on the mind of company founder
Reinhold Ueker in 1936, when the Milwaukee worker
invented the first steel scaffolding system. Yet,
following his solution to wood platforms, the company
has gone on to help restore or repair many revered
Locally, Safway played its part in projects at the
Milwaukee Art Museum, the Johnson Control Headquarters,
and Milwaukee City Hall.
is also providing scaffolding during construction at the
downtown Milwaukee Northwestern Mutual Life building,
the company added.