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Area code 56 Common abbreviation RCH Last updated 28-9-2014
Road class Syntax explanation Administrative subordination Sub classes Zones System Remarks
National road {CH}[0-9]<1-3> national 1-d
Regional road [A-Y]-[0-9]<2-3>{-[A-Y]} national 2-d Determined by letter
General description:
National roads: Route 5 is the main north-south route from the Peruvian border to Quellón. Further south, routes 7 and 9 are the main north-south routes. Route 1 is along the coast in the north. Since route 1 is west of route 5 and routes 7 and 9 are further to the east, one might say that numbers increase in eastbound direction.
2- and 3-digit numbers are other roads. Roads west of route 5 usually have even numbers and roads east of route 5 have odd numbers, with numbers increasing in southbound direction. Some roads crossing route 5 retain their number on both sides. Further south, the same holds with routes 7 and 9 instead of 5.
There are a few roads that do not fit into the system: Route 100 links Concepción and Coronel and could be part of route 160 instead.
Some of the roads have prefix 'CH' but this does not appear consistently on all maps.
Local roads also have even numbers west of routes 5, 7 and 9 and odd numbers east of these main roads. The letter in the number indicates a zone consisting of one or more provinces. In the sparsely populated north and south of the country, one zone corresponds to one region (which is split into provinces). In the central part, zones are much smaller. The table below lists the letters:
Zone Region Province(s)
A Tarapacá (all)
B Antofagasta (all)
C Atacama (all)
D Coquimbo (all)
E Valparaíso Petroca, San Felipe de Anconcagua
F Valparaíso, Quillota
G Región Metropolitana de Santiago
H Región del Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Cardenal Caro
I Cachapoal, Colchagua
J Región del Maule Curicó
K Talca
L Linares
M Cauquenes
N Región del Biobío Nuble
O Concepción
P Arauco
Q Biobío
R Región de la Araucanía Malleco
S Cautín
T Región de los Lagos Valdivia
U Osorno
V Llanquihue
W Chiloé (Palena?)
X Región Aisén del General Carlos Ibañez del Campo (all)
Y Región de Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena (all)
If a regional road crosses a zone border, the letter for that zone appears as a suffix. The number then continues in the other zone. For example, a road linking zones E and F in Valparaíso has number E-30-F in zone E and F-30-E in zone F.
Road signs:
Road type Background Text Road numbers
Class Shape Background Text
Motorways Blue White Motorway Rectangle Blue White
Other roads Green White National As US highways White Black
Local destinations Black White Regional Green White
Pictures by Carmen Erni

History: no information available
Sources and links: Various maps

    Official sites:
  1. Road sign manual
    Other links:
  3. Road maps
  4. Road map 1-red-caminera-chile-arica-parinacota-tarapaca-antofagasta
  5. Road map 2-red-caminera-chile-atacama-coquimbo
  6. Road map 3-red-caminera-chile-valparaiso-metropolitana
  7. Road map 4-red-caminera-chile-ohiggins-maule
  8. Road map 5-red-caminera-chile-biobio-araucania
  9. Road map 6-red-caminera-chile-los-rios-los-lagos
  10. Road map 7-red-caminera-chile-aisen
  11. Road map 8-red-caminera-chile-magallanes

Marcel Monterie