I know that many cite the Continental 1 reason for building this road, but I've lived in PA all my life and the northern part of Cambria, Clearfield, McKean, and Elk counties is the most desolate area in the state. I can't see anyone justifying a multi-billion dollar highway through this area...especially with I-99 just 25 miles to the east.
Once you get to that Northern Part at I-80, it's certainly more than 25 miles apart (About 64 miles via I-80, doing the math by exit numbers), then north of I-80 they spread even further apart....
But I completely agree that north of I-80, no one is going to justify a freeway thru the Allegheny National Forest area. I think the most we'll ever see in our lifetimes is maybe some sort of bypass (and probably 2-lane at that) of Brockway, Ridgway, and maybe Wilcox. If 219 is ever actually fully upgraded in NY, and between I-80 & I-68, maybe there will be pressure to finish such a "missing link". But I'll be surprised to see even those sections built (MAYBE NY will get it done all the way down to Salamanca)
If I-99 is the pet project, then divert this money to actually FINISHING that road before we move on to another one.
North of the PA Turnpike, I agree... Though south of the Turnpike, my opinion is that 219 is still the priority. The remaining current
corridor in Somerset County is much worse than US-220 south of Bedford (which I think has no plans for any upgrade / Future I-99 ambitions at this time anyway), and would probably be a better use of money (assuming it can even be found). And while it certainly has seemed that I-99 has been the "pet project" the last couple of decades, I think US-219 in Somerset County has been on the books for just as long (though I could be wrong about that)