The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has invested in domestic road infrastructure for the first time.

The $294bn (€258bn) pension fund has bought a 10% share of the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company (ITRCC) from Australian fund manager IFM Investors.

ITRCC maintains the 157-mile Indiana Toll Road in an agreement with the Finance Authority for the State of Indiana.

“This solid, long-term investment represents our first foray into a transportation asset in the US,” said Paul Mouchakkaa, managing investment director for CalPERS’ real assets programme.

“We continue to make progress building up this important programme, and the ITRCC aligns well with our recently adopted strategic plan for real assets.”

IFM Investors bought ITRCC last year for $5.73bn, giving it exclusive rights to collect roll revenues from road users and to raise toll rates.

Australian superannuation fund Cbus, which is an investor in the IFM fund that owns ITRCC, also made a $140m co-investment.

Michael Kulper, executive director, infrastructure at IFM Investors, told IPE Real Estate that the toll road is a strategically important link in the US distribution network.

“The availability of the ITR represented a rare opportunity to acquire a stable asset in a premier location,” he said. “It forms the backbone of the freight system in the US.”

Grant Harrison, investment manager of private markets at Cbus, told IPE Real Estate: “We saw it as a very strategic asset in the broader US national transportation network.”