A collaborative effort among five communities to promote their shared Route 3 corridor is getting some encouragement from a well-known economist.

Barry Bluestone, founding director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University and a key adviser to the Patrick administration, hailed the partnership that Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Chelmsford, and Lowell are pursuing through the Middlesex 3 Coalition.

“I’ve been very impressed with the time I’ve spent with the Middlesex 3 group,” Bluestone said. “They are smart; they are committed to really improving their communities.

“They understand that in this new globally competitive world, economic development turns out to be critically important and you need to do it right. And they seem committed to doing it and working with the business community to help them do it.”