Three firms have been shortlisted to design, build and finance the £1bn Silvertown Tunnel.
Hochtief, Ferrovial-owned Cintra Global and a joint venture of Skanska and Strabag are left in the race for the proposed road tunnel in east London.
The construction of the project will be privately financed through the design, finance, build and maintain contract, with the winner receiving regular payments from Transport for London once the tunnel is opened.
TfL said a winner would be chosen in the autumn following a planning process that began in October 2016 and could last up to 12 months before the transport secretary makes a final decision.
Skanska and Strabag are currently bidding alongside Costain for four of the seven phase one civils packages on High Speed 2.
Hochtief PPP is working on a number of public-private partnership roads and social infrastructure projects in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Greece, Canada and the US.
It is also involved in eight PPP school projects in the UK and Ireland, including a 30-year construction and maintenance deal for four schools in North Ayrshire.
Cintra Global is a subsidiary of Spanish giant Ferrovial and specialises in the development, maintenance and operation of toll roads.
It manages more than 1,920 km of highways across 10 countries including Canada, the US, Ireland and China.
The firm’s UK projects include the £450m A8 road widening between Baillieston and Newhouse in Scotland, where it was chosen alongside Amey on the 33-year design, build, finance and maintenance contract.
Construction of the twin-bore road tunnel between Silvertown and Greenwich Peninsular will begin in 2019, subject to final planning approval by the transport secretary, and is expected to open by 2023.
As part of the tender, firms will be required to identify a number of measures to lessen construction impact and help the local community, including reducing road use by construction vehicles, developing a community engagement plan and creating 150 local apprenticeships.
TfL managing director for surface transport Leon Daniels said: “It’s great to see such a strong shortlist of bidders to design, finance, build, and maintain the new Silvertown Tunnel.
“The tunnel will be essential to help tackle congestion and reliability in east and south-east London, as well as to transform cross-river bus services and support planned growth across the wider area.”