While ago I spent some time speaking to our loyal customer Rama (thank you for making me write this), who asked for a workflow to have ESRI shape file imported into Civil 3D and have elevation values imported, as well. So what happened is that he imported ESRI shape file and that went pretty smooth (picture below shows it), but the imported object did not have any elevation information other than zero. As such, it is pretty useless when it comes to creating surfaces. Unfortunately, an old Technical Solution was kind of misleading with introduction of Ribbons.
So let’s get to business, first we know that you can’t import Z values from ESRI shape file directly. But with following workflow, you will be able to get elevations and continue creating surface. This workflow has two phases: import shape file and attaching it and setting up query.