New Jersey's E-ZPass automated toll collections contract was awarded to MFS Network Technologies, a unit of Worldcom Inc., with Chase Manhattan Corp. as a subcontractor.

The eight-year contract is valued at $500 million.

Chase will provide customer service, settlement, and marketing of E- ZPass, a system that allows drivers to pay tolls without stopping. On each pass through a toll-collection area, a prepaid account is debited through a transponder attached to the car's windshield.

The system will encompass many of New Jersey's toll roads, as well as bridges and tunnels leading to New York. Some of Delaware's toll roads will also be covered by the contract.

Lockheed Martin, which implemented E-ZPass in New York State, has contested the contract award.

The company filed suit in Delaware because the state "piggybacked onto what New Jersey was doing without going through its own procurement process," said Lockheed spokesman Terry Lynam.

Mr. Lynam said the company also filed a protest with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority claiming the procurement process was "unfair and tainted by a conflict of interest."

Lockheed plans to file suit in the New Jersey appellate court if its protest is rejected.

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