On Friday, May 27, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. the Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries Division is holding a christening for the new Washington State Ferry Kennewick. The christening event is to take place at Vigor Shipyards (Formerly Todd Pacific Shipyards) in Seattle. This event is not open to the public, but media is welcome to attend.
The City of Kennewick submitted a proposal to the Washington State Transportation Commission explaining why Kennewick selected as the name for one of three new 64-car Ferries to be added to WASDOT fleet. Kennewick has a nautical history beginning in the early 1900s when fleets of steamboats transported goods and people along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. In a resolution, the Kennewick City Council supported naming the new Ferry "Kennewick." On July 10, 2010 the Washington State Transportation Commission voted and approved Kennewick as the name for one of the newest Ferries.
City Manager Marie Mosley stated, "This new Ferry provides an economic boost for our region and will generated a new interest in Kennewick and the Tri-Cities area through the tourists and commuters that will travel on the "Kennewick." The "Kennewick" is scheduled for completion in December 2011.