Three groups have been short listed for constructing the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

Legacy Link Partners, Bridging North America and CanAm Gateway Partners are the three finalists, according to an announcement Wednesday from the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority.

Jim Lyons, executive director of the Windsor Construction Association calls the latest progress "exciting times" as planning for the bridge work continues.

"We've got, now, an idea of who potentially's going to build this new structure...that's going to change how we move around this community and cross into the United States," he told CBC News.

The short list "represents the best in diverse international and local businesses," said interim bridge authority chairman Dwight Duncan. He emphasized the stringent selection process used to come up with the three teams.

"It was thorough, rigorous and transparent and overseen by an independent fairness monitor," he said in a statement.

Six teams entered submissions to the bridge authority. Officials then scored each entry out of 100 points, eventually narrowing the list down to the three finalists.

The successful group is expected to be selected later this year with construction beginning some time in 2017. The bridge is scheduled to be finished by 2020.

Windsor construction companies should be kept busy once bridge construction starts, even though nearly every company making up each of the three finalist groupings are from outside the region, Lyon said.

"There's going to be so much involved in the construction of this project that a lot of the constructors, small and large, will be involved in some form," he said.