One of the big time killers with Civil 3D comes from data management overhead. A lot of time goes into configuring and manipulating management schemes to be able to work efficiently. The site topology paradigm in itself is a pain to work with, not to mention style managment, data shortcuts, etc.
The system requires a lot of pre-configuration to work efficiently and accordingly it does not readily adapt to scenarios that are atypical of the standards it was set up for.
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