Mayor Frank Jackson told state officials Wednesday a one-year shutdown of the bridge is not acceptable.
Lanes are currently reduced and some ramps are closed due to structural concerns. Trucks are banned entirely from the bridge because of the weight.
The state says it will take a year to demolish and replace the bridge.
The city's fighting for the original double bridge proposal.
The state claims it can only afford a $190 million economy bridge.
"We cannot have our major artery into downtown Cleveland closed for a year. It would be akin to every business in downtown Cleveland putting up a closed for a year sign.
The state says it's doing the best it can with the money available.
The mayor has asked for federal dollars for this among other projects.