West Richland is a city located in Benton County, Washington. It neighbors the city of Richland. The 2008 population is 10,857 people. The city is generally included in the Tri-Cities (for purposes of counting population, etc.), even though that technically makes four cities (along with Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco).
The original people of the region were the Chemnapum Indians (closely related to the Wanapum tribe), living near the mouth of the Yakima River. Lewis and Clark passed through the area in 1805, and an expedition of the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers headed by Robert E Johnson mapped the Yakima Valley in 1841.
In 1853, a road was authorized by Congress to pass through the Yakima valley, and passed through present-day West Richland - but settlement did not really begin until the late 1870s. The first schoolhouse was built in 1896 on the Van Horn Property just south of what is now Van Giesen Street. Benton County was created in 1905, Richland was incorporated in 1906, and the West Richland area was known as 'Lower Yakima'. An irrigation canal from the north side of Horn Rapids Dam was built in 1908 to bring water into Richland.
The Yellowstone Trail, a national highway stretching from Albany, New York, to Seattle, was located through the Yakima Valley in 1917 and 1918. It crossed the Fallon Bridge between Richland and West Richland and then proceeded directly west to Kiona.
During the 1940s, the city of Richland was built, run and maintained by the War Department for the duration of the Manhattan Project. A number of residents had chafed at the government's regulations, and as a result many of them had moved across the Yakima River, where it was possible to purchase land and own (rather than rent) a house.
Carl Heminger purchased some 80 acres (320,000 m2) in 1948, and laid out plans for a city. It was proposed that it be named Heminger City (presumably after himself), but in 1949 the townspeople chose the name Enterprise instead. Heminger moved a mile down the road in protest, and platted a small community there called Heminger City. This was eventually incorporated in the West Richland City limits. When the time came in 1955 to incorporate the town, it was decided to rename to West Richland, taking advantage of the already well-known status of nearby Richland.
West Richland was officially incorporated on June 17, 1955, combining the two towns of Heminger City and Enterprise.
In 2008 West Richland was the location of the speed test for the fastest production car in the world (Aero SSC TT) at over 250 mph (400 km/h), which beat the Bugatti Veyron.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.8 sq mi (56.5 km²). 21.7 sq mi (56.3 km²) of it is land and 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km²) of it (0.41%) is water.
West Richland's climate is warm during summer when temperatures tend to be in the 70's and very cold during winter when temperatures tend to be in the 30's.
The warmest month of the year is July with an average maximum temperature of 87.90 degrees Fahrenheit, while the coldest month of the year is January with an average minimum temperature of 26.00 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperature variations between night and day tend to be relatively big during summer with a difference that can reach 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and fairly limited during winter with an average difference of 16 degrees Fahrenheit.
The annual average precipitation at West Richland is 7.55 Inches. Rainfall in is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest month of the year is November with an average rainfall of 1.07 Inches.
Shelby SuperCars Inc. (SSC) is an American automobile manufacturer founded in 1999 by owner Jerod Shelby (no relation to car designer Carroll Shelby). The company is based in West Richland and specializes in the production of supercars.
The nearest major hospital is Kadlec Medical Center in Richland.
West Richland is serviced by the West Richland Police Department.