|City and Commune|
Concha y Toro vineyard in Puente Alto
|Coordinates (city): Coordinates:|
|• Alcalde||Manuel José Ossandón Irarrázabal|
|• Total||88.2 km2 (34.1 sq mi)|
|Elevation||673 m (2,208 ft)|
|Population (2012 Census)|
|• Density||6,500/km2 (17,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CLT  (UTC-4)|
|• Summer (DST)||CLST  (UTC-3)|
|Area code(s)||country 56 + city 2|
|Website||Municipality of Puente Alto|
Puente Alto (Spanish: "High Bridge") is a city and commune of Chile. It is the capital of the Cordillera Province in the Santiago Metropolitan Region. Located at the south of the Great Santiago conurbation (of which it is part), it houses 573,935 inhabitants (city proper, 2012 census), making it the largest city in Chile (excluding conurbations or absorptions).
After 1883, the provience of Santiago was divided into three departments: Santiago, La Victoria and Melipilla. In 1891 the "Autonimic Commune Law" was enacted, after which the president signed as the "Decree of the Creation of Municipalities."
According to regional law, the authorities of this new sector would be able to increase in proportion to the number of inhabitants in the area, as well as adding three additional mayors the bureaucratic structure. This law was passed with the aim of giving more individual power to the remote areas of the fast-growing city, instead of everything being governed as a whole under La Victoria.
Annexation to Santiago
Decades ago, Puente Alto was considered a village on the outskirts of Santiago (like Maipú and San Bernardo), but the steady growth of Santiago, and to a lesser degree Puente Alto, resulted in the union of two cities (as was eventually Maipú and San Bernardo).
The commune is still not totally unified with Santiago - there are a few unique exceptions that are part of Puente Alto but not Santiago, most notably in the Third Sector of Puente Alto. From Concha y Toro Avenue to Avenida La Serena- 4 Oriente there are places where, for some reason, the annexation into Santiago failed or has yet to be completed.
According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Puente Alto spans an area of 88.2 km2 (34 sq mi) and has 492,915 inhabitants (240,862 men and 252,053 women). Of these, 492,603 (99.9%) lived in urban areas and 312 (0.1%)
- Average annual household income: US$23,362 (PPP, 2006)[dead link]
- Population below poverty line: 10.6% (2006)[dead link]
As a commune, Puente Alto is a third-level administrative division of Chile administered by a municipal council, headed by an alcalde who is directly elected every four years. The 2008-2012 alcalde is Manuel José Ossandón Irarrázabal (RN).
Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Puente Alto is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Mr. Osvaldo Andrade (PS) and Mr. Leopoldo Pérez (RN) as part of the 29th electoral district, (together with Pirque, San José de Maipo and La Pintana). The commune is represented in the Senate by Soledad Alvear Valenzuela (PDC) and Pablo Longueira Montes (UDI) as part of the 8th senatorial constituency (Santiago-East).
Puente Alto is connected to the rest of Santiago vía two forms of organized public transportation.
First, the Metro Bus, which can be taken from anywhere in Puente Alto to arrive eventually to downtown Santiago.
Puente Alto is also home to the most southerly station of the Santiago Metro, Estación Plaza de Puente Alto. Travel time to downtown Santiago by metro train is approximately 30 minutes.
- (Spanish) "Municipality of Puente Alto". Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- (Spanish) "National Statistics Institute". Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- "Chile Time". WorldTimeZones.org. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- "Chile Summer Time". WorldTimeZones.org. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- Sistema de Información Regional, Ministry of Planning of Chile.
- Poverty in the Santiago Metropolitan Region, Ministry of Planning of Chile.
- (Spanish) Municipality of Puente Alto