Civil 3D for Project Managers

Your ability to view and navigate 3D models is essential to keeping up with technology. Your ability to verify the design specifications are met by the 3D model is very important.
You do not need extensive CADD skills just the basic tools for navigation and checking dimensions, slopes, areas, and volumes. 3D models can help you find utility conflicts or slope overruns outside the ROW. Civil 3D and Microstation are both 3D modeling tools.

2D sheets are not the future. 3D models are here and now.

2D Sheets are not the future. 3D models are here and now. NextGen Plans specs now appear in the FDOT Design Manual, Section 900.

The first step for a project manager is to learn to use model viewing tools. If you don’t have Civil 3D installed on your computer you can install DWG TruView for free from Autodesk. It is OK to ask for help. The FDOT CADD Support staff are there to assist you.

Civil 3D has a mature set of features and workflows developed over the past 15 years.

Project managers need a CADD production team that has confidence they can complete a project using the FDOT Civil 3D State Kit.  Build your team’s skills with training and on the job mentored experiences.  Add “Learn 3D Tools” to your to-do list. Be persistent with your learning efforts. Lean on the experts at to build your confidence in Civil 3D as your go-to workflow for project deliverables. Your outside consultants are competent and capable of delivering your project using FDOT20xx Civil 3D State Kit. If they ask you to allow them to deliver a project using Civil 3D be confident in their abilities and say yes.

Create Alignment from Network Parts Command in Civil 3D

The purpose of this article is to optimize the use of the Create Alignment from Network Parts command in Civil 3D. You will typically repeat this command for each pipe run you wish to display in a Profile View. There are many settings to preconfigure so each dialog box you encounter in the process will have the desired name format, style, and label choices set as the default.
Civil 3D usually has consistent workflow patterns that allow you to develop an intuition that you can apply to learning other parts of the software. Occasionally you encounter an outlier that defies your intuition. What should be a simple, intuitive, and consistent setup for the Create Alignment from Network Parts command turns out to be somewhat inconsistent and obscure. This command is usually run repeatedly to create profiles for several pipe runs. Each time you run the command you are confronted with the same changes if your settings are not preconfigured with your desired defaults. This tedious repetition can be avoided. I will show you how to preconfigure Civil 3D settings to make the Create Alignment from Network Parts process smoother. I documented which settings worked and which did not to help you avoid hours of bewilderment and frustration.
A few assumptions about the reader before I get started. I assume you know how to run the command so I did not go into a step-by-step process description. I assume you know Civil 3D well enough where there is no need to define what each Civil 3D object does nor get into the details of styles and labels. From the screen captures I provided you can find your way through the Civil 3D interface to get to that dialog box. When I identify something “works” I am stating that I tested the Create Alignment from Network Parts command which begins the sequence of other commands namely the Create Surface Profile and the Create Profile View wizard.
First, I will step you through my thought process and where command behaviors were different from what I had anticipated. Finally, I offer a simplified workflow to produce the desired behavior of having the default settings in each dialog box preconfigured as much as possible.
If you’re eager to see my final conclusion the summary is below:

  • Enable Save Command Changes to Settings in Drawing Settings.
    • Your alignment name edits will be remembered
    • Your choice of the Profile View Style will be remembered.
  • Set the Alignment Style by editing the Alignment Settings, not the command settings
  • Set the Surface Profile Style, Profile Name Template, and Profile Label Set by editing the Profile settings, not the command settings.

If you want to explore what works and what does not read on. The process might help you develop a deeper understanding of Civil 3D settings.

Make your own mind maps with Mindomo.

  Direct link to mind map

FDOT Civil 3D 2018 State Kit – new release

FDOT Civil 3D 2018 State Kit Logo 128

The FDOT Civil 3D 2018 State Kit is now available (2017-12-22).

You probably received this announcement from FDOT.

FDOT2018 C3D 2018 & AutoCAD State Kit Release, (version 01.00.00) is now available.
New release.
Installation Guide and Download from:

There are a few things you need to do to your existing installation of Civil 3D 2018 prior to installing this new State Kit. The link in the installation guide does not give you the necessary details of what to find and what to install for updates.  This short video I made for someone installing an older version of Civil 3D is applicable to what you need to look for and how to find it for Civil 3D 2018. Remember, you need to find and install service packs for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map 3D, and AutoCAD Civil 3D. They are released separately so make a thorough search and take notes while you are searching.  Your best choice and sometimes your only choice to find the latest updates are by logging into  Follow the advice in the video about reading the release notes for each service pack.


D4 Civil 3D Advanced Corridor Model Training Completed

Doug Medley and Brian Morse provided 2 days of Advanced Corridor Modeling on the FDOT Civil 3D 2017 State Kit (MR2). The focus is on Intersection Modeling and Driveway Modeling.

Changes in the Design Manual Prompted by Florida’s Complete Streets

fdot complete streets

The Complete Streets initiative is the driving force behind changes to the Design Manual. The documented design practices needed many revisions in order to conform to the recommendations found in the Complete Streets Implementation Plan. Designers should take the time to become familiar with Complete Streets thought processes that will help you make better design decisions. Status quo doesn’t cut it anymore. Get onboard. Make the difference. Start now.

Would you, could you, on a Trail?

Enough Seuessing around…get your project funded and use the FDOT Civil 3D 2017 State Kit to plan it, design it, or build it.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is soliciting new proposals for funding Regional Trail System and Individual Trail projects through the Shared-Use Nonmotorized (SUN) Trail program for inclusion in the Tentative Five Year Work Program development cycle. Projects programmed for this cycle will be funded as early as Fiscal Years 2023/2024.
For more info and application forms see

FDOT Office of Design – Divisions


The Office of Design leads, guides and supports the design community to deliver innovative transportation solutions. Our Divisions are Production Support, Roadway Design, Structures Design and Surveying and Mapping.

Production Support provides leadership, guidance and support for managing and delivering the design phase of projects. We assist designers, project managers, consultants and FDOT employees in meeting production schedules and delivering a quality design product.

The Roadway Design Office is comprised of five major sections: Roadway CriteriaRoadway StandardsPavement ManagementQuality Assurance and Drainage Design. We work together to develop, support and disseminate policies, procedures, manuals, handbooks, guides, training, criteria and standards for the design of Florida roadways.

Structures Design provides design guidance and technical assistance for structural, geotechnical, mechanical and electrical issues related to structural design and construction

Surveying and Mapping leads statewide surveying and mapping efforts through spatial technology expertise in support of Florida’s transportation system. We support surveying and mapping activities statewide by providing policies, procedures, guidelines, and training. Our areas of expertise include: Aerial Surveying and Mapping, Location Surveying, Right of Way Mapping, and Geographic Mapping which includes distributing aerial photography, producing the Florida Official Transportation Map, and providing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) support for engineering and operations.

On Friday, October 7, 2016 (after 7:00 p.m.), the web address for the department’s internet website will change from to

UPDATE 2017-10-01
The FDOT Organizational Chart has changed again.