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Plans to build the Gordie Howe International Bridge between Windsor and Detroit advanced this week with the release of the names of the three teams who will bid to work on it.

The teams short-listed are Legacy Link Partners, Bridging North America and CanAm Gateway Partners, the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, which is overseeing the project, announced Wednesday.

Dwight Duncan, interim chairman of the authority’s board of directors, said the finalists “represent the best in diverse international and local businesses and we look forward to the innovation, approaches and techniques these teams will bring to the table in response to the Request for Proposals.”

The three finalists now will assemble their final bids to design, build and operate the Howe bridge project, the Windsor Star reported. The bridge authority is scheduled to select the winning consortium by the end of this year with construction projected to start in 2017, according to the Star.

“With the Short-Listed Respondents named, (the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority) is pleased to have concluded the first stage in the public-private partnership procurement process,” Michael Cautillo, president and CEO, , said in a statement.

“Our team of dedicated staff, partners and consultants have worked diligently to implement a fair and transparent process that recognizes the size and scope of this unprecedented international project.”

The $2.1 billion span between Detroit and Windsor is to be two miles downriver from the Ambassador Bridge.

Scheduled to open in 2020, it will provide a second highway link for heavy trucks at the busiest U.S.-Canada crossing point.

Canada is supplying Michigan’s $550 million share of the bridge, which will have to be repaid through tolls.

In July, the bridge authority said it had started the process of seeking a private-sector partner for the project. Finalists were expected to be decided late in 2015.

The state of Michigan gave Detroit $1.5 million in 2014 to make way for the bridge.

Meanwhile, the Michigan Department of Transportation has scheduled work this year on right-of-way issues, preliminary engineering and design work for the plaza, interchange and bridge.

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