Plans to extend the Loop 202 freeway around the Phoenix area’s southern edge are nearing final approval, and owners of approximately 200 homes are being told they’ll soon have to find new places to live.

The proposed South Mountain Freeway would extend from Interstate 10 near the Ahwatukee section of southeast Phoenix with I-10 on the metro area’s west side.

The project has been on the drawing boards for decades, but the state Department of Transportation recently sent letters to people whose property lies in the path of the freeway.

ADOT spokesman Tom Tait says appraisal of homes is about to start but that ADOT won’t begin purchasing properties until the Federal Highway Administration approves the project.

ADOT expects that approval early next year. Construction could begin early as 2016.