The very public plaza at North America’s premier music venue, Lincoln Center in New York City, had a continuing problem with leaking plaza expansion joints. Almost since its initial construction in 1959, it had been leaking water from the grand plaza to the underground parking levels below. Two subsequent retrofits of new expansion joint systems still failed to remedy the leaks. The fourth attempt at a fix was planned to be an expensive custom solution designed exclusively for Lincoln Center involving years of engineering and a significant manufacturing and installation cost to the developers. And even then it would be an untested solution hoping to alleviate the problem.
In 2008 EMSEAL entered the discussion, introduced after recent successes at other high-profile New York City installations including Yankee Stadium. After reviewing EMSEAL waterproofing projects in New York and Washington, DC, the decision was made to install EMSEAL’s Migutan system. With a 30-year track record and tens of thousands of feet installed and functioning, the Migutan expansion joint system has proven to be well suited for applications, particularly over occupied space, where the totally watertight integration of expansion joint and deck membrane are a fundamental requirement of the split-slab construction as found on this plaza deck. Its unique design incorporates side membranes which integrate with the deck waterproofing system to form a continuous, completely watertight system. After installation the final view for pedestrians is that of a simple pair of closely aligned steel capping strips straddling a thermosplastic rubber gland.
Technical personnel at EMSEAL created CAD details and manufacturing plans to adequately address the hundreds of feet of plaza expansion joint to be installed in this retrofit application. They paid particular attention to maintaining continuity of seal through the transitions at direction changes around columns as well as at terminations.
The result today is a watertight solution at Lincoln Center’s famed plaza. Exposed to severe water, snow and the temperature ranges found in the northeast United States, as well as hundreds of thousands of visitors and accompanying foot traffic each year, EMSEAL’s Migutan system is keeping water from leaking through the deck. Avery Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House, the NY State Theater and the Julliard School of Music finally have a watertight public plaza deck worthy of the Lincoln Center’s great fame.