Vernita rest stop.

is an area along Washington State Route 24 that spans between Grant and Benton Counties, Washington.  The Vernita Bridge is located here and spans the Columbia River connecting Grant County and Benton County.   

Geography Edit

North of Vernita by about 10 miles is Desert Aire and Mattawa. Former towns like Audrey, Susie, Nancy, and White Bluffs, are to the east in the Hanford Site. Over a ridge and Gravity Hill you finally come to I-82 with WhitstranNorth Prosser, and Prosser. West is Moxee and Yakima.

This area is a broad desert flat, and is the last area in Washington that the Columbia River runs free without a dam. It runs 51 miles unobstructed.

History Edit

A ferry operated at Vernita before the bridge was constructed. Sheep numbered in the thousands here thanks to sheep farmers. When the state took over the ferry operation, they didn't like the mess the sheep left on the ferry boat when they had to cross. When the sheep herders protested the state, the highway commission reversed previous requirements that forced the sheep herders to use trucks to cross on the ferry. Sheep herders were free to use the ferry again without trucks until the bridge was built.

Today, Vernita is scrubland with no community. There is a rest area at the southern shore of the Columbia River. Vernita's southern border is all part of the Handford Site.

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