The Montgomery Bell Tunnel, also known as the 'Patterson Forge Tunnel, in Cheatham County, Tennessee, is a 290-foot (88 m) long tunnel through limestone rock which was the first "full-scale" water diversion tunnel built in the United States. It is also apparently the first "full-scale" tunnel of any type in the United States, according to histories of tunneling. It was built in 1819 by Montgomery Bell using the labor of slaves.
In the late evening, on September 2, 2011, a fire was lit in the tunnel. The amount of driftwood from 2010's flood in the tunnel enlarged the fire. The fire was eventually extinguished in the early hours of the morning. The tunnel, and the road passing over it, were damaged. It and the road were stabilized, however, and Montgomery Bell Tunnel is again safe.